Plastic Pollution

Photo: Manan Vastsyayana Photo: Manan Vastsyayana

Unprecedented Plastic Pollution
When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide

By Claire Le Guern

The world population is living, working, vacationing, increasingly conglomerating along the coasts, and standing on the front row of the greatest, most unprecedented, plastic waste tide ever faced.

Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic debris spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the the world's oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land.

In 2008, our global plastic consumption worldwide has been estimated at 260 million tons. 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. Read More


Oil Pollution

Treasure Island, Florida

View Pollution Gallery

Oil spills on the worlds beaches and in the worlds oceans

By Linda Pilkey-Jarvis

Beaches and river shorelines all over the world are at risk from oil spills. Spills are most likely to occur while oil is transported or transferred between oil tankers, barges, pipelines, refineries, and distribution or storage facilities. Spills may also occur during natural disasters (such as hurricanes), or through deliberate acts by countries at war, sunken ships, vandals, or illegal dumpers. Read More


Trash Pollution

Ocean Pollution... and Ocean Polluters

By Bekah Barlow

Did you know that it's legal to dump trash in the ocean? Yes, there are limitations for what you can and cannot dump. But it is perfectly acceptable to dump your raw sewage, paper, rags, glass, metal, bottles, or similar refuse, as long as you are at least 12 miles away from the nearest shoreline. It is not permissible to dump plastics anywhere. Read More


Surfing in / Pollution

Gambian environmental activists take swift Action against Chinese plant polluting their ocean water

After activists said a Chinese-run fish processing plant – that arrived in 2014 – had failed to remove a pipe accused of spewing toxic waste into the sea, local youth issued an ultimatum: Dig the pipe up, or we will. They did, storming the beach.

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Marine waste is turning the Earth into a plastic planet

News, Pollution
Nov
29

The Ocean Atlas published by the German Heinrich Boll Foundation, an independent international green think tank for policy reform and the University of Kiel’s Future Ocean Cluster of Excellence, lists the top 20 nations with the worst plastic waste mismanagement around the world.

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How plastic waste moves in the environment

News, Pollution
Nov
28

A researcher for the first time has modeled how microplastic fibers move through the environment. The work could someday help communities better understand and reduce plastics pollution, which is a growing problem around the world.

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Cruise ship captain fined €100,000 for using dirty fuel

News, Pollution
Nov
26

The captain of a cruise ship found to be burning fuel with excessive sulphur levels has been fined €100,000 in a Marseille court, the first such ruling in France. The prosecution was intended to signal a new seriousness in tackling pollution from cruise ships.

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Putting the brakes on fast fashion

marine-debris-orange
Inform, Pollution
Nov
12

The fashion industry produces 20 per cent of global wastewater and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally and it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to make a typical pair of jeans.

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Cruise ship to provide ‘$2.1m undertaking’ after Great Barrier Reef spill

ocean giants
News, Pollution
Nov
8

Carnival Australia has been compelled to provide a “$2.1m undertaking” after spilling 28,000 litres of liquid food waste into the Great Barrier Reef’s protected waters.

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We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it.

No one knows how much unrecycled plastic waste ends up in the ocean, Earth’s last sink.

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A running list of action on plastic pollution

coastal-clean-up
Inform, Pollution
Oct
30

The world has a plastic pollution problem and it’s snowballing—but so is public awareness and action. Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean from coastal regions. That’s about equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet.

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Australia joins Clean Seas and pledges to recycle or compost 70 per cent of all plastic packaging by 2025

News, Pollution
Oct
30

Australia becomes the latest country to join the movement to turn the tide on plastic, as Melissa Price, the country’s minister of the Environment, announces that the country is joining the Clean Seas campaign. Among other things, the country is pledging that 100 per cent of Australia’s packaging will be reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025, and 70 per cent will be recycled or composted by 2025.

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Recent / Pollution

Gambian environmental activists take swift Action against Chinese plant polluting their ocean water

December 9th, 2018

After activists said a Chinese-run fish processing plant – that arrived in 2014 – had failed to remove a pipe accused of spewing toxic waste into the sea, local youth issued an ultimatum: Dig the pipe up, or we will. They did, storming the beach.

Read More

Marine waste is turning the Earth into a plastic planet

November 29th, 2018

The Ocean Atlas published by the German Heinrich Boll Foundation, an independent international green think tank for policy reform and the University of Kiel’s Future Ocean Cluster of Excellence, lists the top 20 nations with the worst plastic waste mismanagement around the world.

Read More

How plastic waste moves in the environment

November 28th, 2018

A researcher for the first time has modeled how microplastic fibers move through the environment. The work could someday help communities better understand and reduce plastics pollution, which is a growing problem around the world.

Read More

Cruise ship captain fined €100,000 for using dirty fuel

November 26th, 2018

The captain of a cruise ship found to be burning fuel with excessive sulphur levels has been fined €100,000 in a Marseille court, the first such ruling in France. The prosecution was intended to signal a new seriousness in tackling pollution from cruise ships.

Read More

Putting the brakes on fast fashion

marine-debris-orange

November 12th, 2018

The fashion industry produces 20 per cent of global wastewater and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally and it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to make a typical pair of jeans.

Read More

Cruise ship to provide ‘$2.1m undertaking’ after Great Barrier Reef spill

ocean giants

November 8th, 2018

Carnival Australia has been compelled to provide a “$2.1m undertaking” after spilling 28,000 litres of liquid food waste into the Great Barrier Reef’s protected waters.

Read More

We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it.

November 8th, 2018

No one knows how much unrecycled plastic waste ends up in the ocean, Earth’s last sink.

Read More

A running list of action on plastic pollution

coastal-clean-up

October 30th, 2018

The world has a plastic pollution problem and it’s snowballing—but so is public awareness and action. Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean from coastal regions. That’s about equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet.

Read More

Australia joins Clean Seas and pledges to recycle or compost 70 per cent of all plastic packaging by 2025

October 30th, 2018

Australia becomes the latest country to join the movement to turn the tide on plastic, as Melissa Price, the country’s minister of the Environment, announces that the country is joining the Clean Seas campaign. Among other things, the country is pledging that 100 per cent of Australia’s packaging will be reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025, and 70 per cent will be recycled or composted by 2025.

Read More

Dolphins are simplifying their calls to be heard over shipping noise

October 24th, 2018

The world’s oceans are getting noisier, humming with the near-constant sounds of ship engines, seafloor mining, and oil and gas exploration. Now, a new study has found that dolphins are being forced to simplify their calls in order to be heard over the noise.

Read More