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

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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

Spain leads the world for quality beaches

News, Pollution

Spain safely holds onto its title as the country with the most blue-flag beaches in the world.

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Navy investigating disks of compressed trash littering Outer Banks beaches

News, Pollution

The disks are consistent with those made on ships to compress plastic waste for easy storage, said Ted Brown, a spokesman for the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command. Ships are not supposed to dump plastic into the ocean.

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No escaping ocean plastic: 37 million bits of litter on one of world’s remotest islands

News, Pollution

The beaches of one of the world’s most remote islands have been found to be polluted with the highest density of plastic debris reported anywhere on the planet, a new study shows.

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This Chic’s Beach resident wants you to have something back for keeping the beach clean

A couple, resident of Chesapeake Bay Beach (aka Chic’s beach), Virginia, launched Your Better Beach for the summer. Beachgoers can pick up plastic containers from participating businesses near Chic’s Beach, fill them up with glass and plastic found in the sand, and return full containers for discounts at the merchants.

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The Arctic is a ‘dead end’ for ocean plastic

News, Pollution

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.

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Chesapeake Bay pollution extends to early 19th century

News, Pollution

Humans began measurably and negatively impacting water quality in the Chesapeake Bay in the first half of the 19th century, according to a study of eastern oysters.

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Predicting the movement, impacts of microplastic pollution

News, Pollution

Microplastics are of increasing concern. They not only become more relevant as other plastic marine litter breaks down into tiny particles, they also interact with species in a range of marine habitats. A new study takes a look at how global climate change and the impact of changing ocean circulation affects the distribution of marine microplastic litter.

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Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters

News, Pollution

Pollution is now as dense in the northernmost ocean as it is in the Atlantic and Pacific..

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The Ocean Is Boiling’: The Complete Oral History of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

On January 28th, 1969, crude oil and gas erupted from a platform off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Alarm over the disaster reverberated around the world, energizing the nascent environmental movement and leading to a slew of legislative changes.

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Recent / Pollution

7 Facts about plastic bags that will change how you use them

April 18th, 2017

There’s no denying that plastic bags are bad for the environment. It’s well researched and well documented – and yet 160,000 plastic bags are still used every second around the world. This needs to change, so we’ve put together some facts that will change the way you (and your friends) use plastic bags (and hopefully stop you using them all together).

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Gambia: Tourism and the Environment – Tribute to the ‘Unsung Heroes’ Context

April 11th, 2017

Gambia’s tourism industry was bedeviled with a range of menaces including – indiscriminate dumping and littering of our beaches, as well as debasing of our beaches through sand mining and related environmental malpractices to other areas frequented by our coveted guests and tourists. The need to tackle the environmental and sanitary challenges of tourism, head on, therefore became imperative.

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Mesmerizing Video Of Hawaii Beach Sand Reveals Unsettling Reality

April 10th, 2017

It’s easy to appreciate the beauty of a beach in Hawaii, with its electric blue waters lapping over a coast of golden sand. But hidden in plain sight is a devastating reality that nonprofit Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii captured in a video.

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Plastic No More, Also in Kenya

April 5th, 2017

Kenya has just joined the commitment of other 10 countries to address major plastic pollution by decreeing a ban on the use, manufacture and import of all plastic bags, to take effect in six months.

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Kailua Beach sand project gets underway, triggers stream pollution fears

April 5th, 2017

Longtime residents believe that the water quality in Kailua bay has degraded.

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Ridding the oceans of plastics by turning the waste into valuable fuel

April 3rd, 2017

Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world’s oceans. Now, an organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor that could operate on land or at sea.

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Trump scraps Clean Power Plan: What that means for Earth

March 28th, 2017

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. The plan, which President Obama’s administration put into effect in 2015, was designed to cut power plant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that is warming the planet. The Clean Power Plan requires that, by 2030, the power sector’s CO2 emissions be brought down to 32 percent below their 2005 levels.

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Seattle plant failure dumps millions of gallons of sewage

March 26th, 2017

Millions of gallons of raw sewage and untreated runoff have poured into the United States’ second-largest estuary since a massive sewage treatment plant experienced equipment failures that forced it to stop fully treating Seattle’s waste.

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A river of rubbish: the ugly secret threatening China’s most beautiful city

March 24th, 2017

Despite Beijing’s increased transparency with air pollution, water pollution remains a taboo in China. Prominent environmentalists have been charged with espionage for speaking out about the situation. Greenpeace China told the Guardian that one third of the country’s rivers are contaminated.

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Ganges and Yamuna rivers granted same legal rights as human beings

March 21st, 2017

A court in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand ordered on Monday that the Ganges and its main tributary, the Yamuna, be accorded the status of living human entities.

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