New American Chemical Society podcast series celebrates 40th anniversary of Earth Day

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2010 –— The American Chemical Society (ACS) today released a package of seven podcasts in observation of Earth Day 2010 (April 22), the 40th anniversary of this landmark event. The podcasts reflect the theme of this year’s ACS “Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Program” — Plants -The Green Machines! — with a focus on the chemistry and uses of plants.

One episode is a new high-definition video podcast based on content from ChemMatters, ACS’ award-winning high school chemistry magazine. The podcast highlights how scientists are developing “green” plastics using plant materials. By 2020, these “bioplastics” could provide an environmentally friendly alternative for about one-fifth of the estimated 200 billion pounds of plastics manufacturers produce each year worldwide, the video notes. It is available at

The six other Earth Day podcasts are special audio episodes of ACS’ award-winning Bytesize Science program. The podcasts include the following topics:

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  • Plant-based medicines, part 1
  • Plant-based medicines, part 2
  • Pollution-fighting plants
  • Plants as “green” machines
  • Cleaning up heavy metals
  • Energy

Downloaded thousands of times each month, Bytesize Science translates cutting-edge scientific discoveries from ACS’ 38 peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News into stories for young listeners about science, health, medicine, energy, food, and other topics. Since its debut in 2007, Bytesize Science has received accolades from the National Science Teachers Association, the National Education Association, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.