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

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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Dolphins are simplifying their calls to be heard over shipping noise

News, Pollution
Oct
24

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.

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How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected

Prior research has suggested that mussels are a robust indicator of plastic debris and particles in marine environments. A new study says that’s not the case because mussels are picky eaters and have an inherent ability to choose and sort their food. Instead, the researchers have discovered that marine aggregates also called ”marine snow,” play a much bigger role in the fate of the oceans when it comes to plastic debris.

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A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

News, Pollution
Oct
22

An oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in U.S. history. Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004.

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Beaches of Saint-Tropez hit by Mediterranean oil spill

News, Pollution
Oct
21

A containership and a ferry collided off the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea, causing a three-mile long spill of heavy fuel, with French and Italian coastal authorities scrambling to contain it. The mayor of the village of Ramatuelle, which lies on the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, told AFP that 16 kilometres (10 miles) of coastline had been affected by the spill.

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Recent / Pollution

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

How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected

October 23rd, 2018

Prior research has suggested that mussels are a robust indicator of plastic debris and particles in marine environments. A new study says that’s not the case because mussels are picky eaters and have an inherent ability to choose and sort their food. Instead, the researchers have discovered that marine aggregates also called ”marine snow,” play a much bigger role in the fate of the oceans when it comes to plastic debris.

Read More

A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

October 22nd, 2018

An oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in U.S. history. Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004.

Read More

Beaches of Saint-Tropez hit by Mediterranean oil spill

October 21st, 2018

A containership and a ferry collided off the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea, causing a three-mile long spill of heavy fuel, with French and Italian coastal authorities scrambling to contain it. The mayor of the village of Ramatuelle, which lies on the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, told AFP that 16 kilometres (10 miles) of coastline had been affected by the spill.

Read More

Plastic pollution has increased a hundredfold in remote parts of the South Atlantic

October 19th, 2018

The amount of plastic debris in the ocean waters of the British islands in the South Atlantic — some of the most remote places on the planet — has increased hundredfold in the last 30 years, according to a new study.

Read More