PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


PNS Daily Newscast - June 11, 2021 

We reflect and update as HIV/AIDS first came to national attention 40 years ago this month; and when it comes to infrastructure spending, bipartisanship isn't dead yet.

2021Talks - June 11, 2021 

President Biden offers up more COVID-19 vaccines to the world; Dems and GOP close in on an infrastructure deal; and Speaker Pelosi tries to quell a spat over the Middle East among Democrats.

2018: Year to Clean Up the Great Lakes

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Plastic waste is broken down by currents and sunlight and is often ingested by wildlife. (
Plastic waste is broken down by currents and sunlight and is often ingested by wildlife. (
 By Veronica CarterContact
January 15, 2018

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – Clean-water advocates say they’re are hoping 2018 will be a year of better water quality in the Great Lakes and oceans.

Carolyn Box, science program director at 5 Gyres, warns that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the water than fish, with 95 percent of it coming from land. That comes from trash that ends up in storm drains and rivers, then flows into the Great Lakes and oceans.

She said plastic is trapped within currents, taking at least 10 years to cycle back out - if it doesn't get eaten by marine life or sink to the bottom first.

"It's breaking down from wave action and sunlight, so it's breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces,” Box said. “And it's also attracting other contaminants to the plastic itself, which is making those pieces of plastic more toxic."

Box said more people are talking about plastic waste, and companies are taking baby steps to eliminate it. There's a petition drive on asking Royal Caribbean International to reduce the use of disposable plastic utensils. The group The Last Plastic Straw has said on average, each person in the U.S. uses about 38,000 straws between the ages of 5 and 65.

In 2015, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the Microbead Free Waters Act, which amended the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to ban personal-care products containing plastic microbeads.

But the Alliance for the Great Lakes said that's not enough. Microbeads only make up 16 percent of the plastic pollution. Box said microfibers also are under a lot of scrutiny because they can cause a lot of damage to the ecosystem.

"Synthetic clothing is now shedding plastic into our waterways,” she said. “So it's going down our sinks and down our drains from our washing machines and heading to the wastewater treatment plants and making its way out into the waterways."

Box said lawmakers and businesses need to step up, but individuals can help too by buying as little plastic as possible, particularly water bottles. A study by the Rochester Institute of Technology found nearly 10,000 metric tons - or 22 million pounds - of plastic debris enter the Great Lakes every year.

Best Practices