Once-pristine Arctic choking on our plastic addiction

Posted In Inform, Pollution
Oct
26


Polar bear chewing on a plastic bag, Kaktovik, AK on the Arctic Ocean. Photo source: ©© Anita Ritenour.
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”—© SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Earlier this year a global team of scientists sounded another alarm, revealing what they called the next major threat to the polar bears’ Arctic habitat: plastic.

After spending five years tracking currents and collecting and analysing water samples, they estimated there to be around 300 billion pieces of plastic from all over the world floating in this once pristine ecosystem…

Read Full Article, CBS News (10-23-2017)

The Arctic is a ‘dead end’ for ocean plastic; MNN (04-24-2017)
According to a new study, the Arctic serves as a “dead end” for hordes of marine debris drifting through the North Atlantic. Even though very little plastic waste is discarded within the Arctic itself, it’s still carried there — and then stranded — by ocean currents…

Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters; The New York Times (04-19-2017)

Plastic Litter Taints the Sea Surface, Even in the Arctic; Science Daily (10-22-2015)
For the first time, researchers show that marine litter can even be found at the sea surface of Arctic waters. Though it remains unclear how the litter made it so far north, it is likely to pose new problems for local marine life, the authors report…

The Ocean Is Contaminated by Trillions More Pieces of Plastic Than Thought, IOP Science (12-08-2015)
This new study suggests there are 15 to 51 trillion micro plastic particles (those less than 200 millimeters in size) in the world’s oceans, weighing between 93 and 236,000 metric tons. This is about seven times more than scientists had previously estimated…

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

Plastic Pollution / When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care ©-2009.
For more than 50 years, global production and consumption of plastics have continued to rise. An estimated 300 million tons of plastics were produced in 2015, confirming and upward trend over the past years, according to a new report by the World Economics Forum, released at Davos in January 2016.
Plastic is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. Those are the attractive qualities that lead us, around the world, to such a voracious appetite and over-consumption of plastic goods. However, durable and very slow to degrade, plastic materials that are used in the production of so many products all, ultimately, become waste with staying power. Our tremendous attraction to plastic, coupled with an undeniable behavioral propensity of increasingly over-consuming, discarding, littering and thus polluting, has become a combination of lethal nature… — © SAF — Coastal Care

UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic, UNEP (02-23-2017)

To clean up ocean plastics, increase focus on coasts, Science Daily (01-19-2016)
The most efficient way to clean up ocean plastics and avoid harming ecosystems is to place plastic collectors near coasts, according to a new study…

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