Plastic Pollution

Photo: Manan Vastsyayana Photo: Manan Vastsyayana

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

By Claire Le Guern Lytle

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

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions

News, Pollution
Dec
29

Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016.

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Researchers estimate 10,000 metric tons of plastic enter Great Lakes every year

News, Pollution
Dec
22

A new study that inventories and tracks high concentrations of plastic in the Great Lakes could help inform cleanup efforts and target pollution prevention. Researchers found that nearly 10,000 metric tons — or 22 million pounds — of plastic debris enter the Great Lakes every year from the United States and Canada.

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Exxon Mobil oil spill hits communities in southeast Nigeria

News, Pollution
Dec
21

An oil spill from Exxon Mobil Corp facilities in southeast Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom state has hit local communities, affecting farming, fishing and drinking water.

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Age-Old Problem: River in Jordan Polluted by Copper 7,000 Years Ago

Inform, Pollution
Dec
13

The first river polluted by humanity may have been discovered in the Wadi Faynan region of southern Jordan, contaminated by copper about 7,000 years ago, a new study finds.

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‘This is a 4-alarm fire’: Environmentalists to campaign against Trump’s EPA pick

News, Pollution
Dec
8

Environmental advocates say they are shocked and worried after Donald Trump announced Thursday that he had selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has denied mainstream climate science, to administer his Environmental Protection Agency.

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All Human-Made Objects on Earth Amount to 30 Trillion Tons

Scientists recently discovered that all objects on Earth created by people adds up to an astoundingly large figure. All of these objects are collectively known as Earth’s “technosphere.” Distributed evenly over the planet’s surface, the technosphere would translate into about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) for every 11 square feet (1 square meter).

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The victory at Standing Rock could mark a turning point

The defeat of an energy company by indigenous activists shows what nonviolent unity can accomplish. There are lessons here as we enter a challenging new age.

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Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For ‘Deliberate Pollution’

News, Pollution
Dec
2

The California-based cruise operator, Princess Cruise Lines, will pay a $40 million fine for “deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up,” according to the Department of Justice, which calls it “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution.”

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Plastic Island: How our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard

The distance from humanity yawns out in front of you when you stand on the pale sands of this tiny Pacific island. Midway Atoll is just about the furthest piece of land from civilization and its constant engine whir, data and jostle. Standing on the island’s remote shoreline brings a calm and humility — until you look down at your feet.

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Recent / Pollution

UN maritime agency to limit carbon emissions from international shipping

November 4th, 2016

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki called on International Maritime Organization (IMO) members, in partnership with the maritime industry, to promote further progress on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships to contribute to the objective of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which enters into force on 4 November 2016…

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Beach asphalt removal project underway; Gulf Islands National Seashore

October 28th, 2016

The goal of the $10.85 million project, which began earlier in October, is to clean decades of debris from blacktopped roads and parking lots eroded by tropical storms and hurricanes. This work to remove small asphalt chunks from miles of gleaming white beachfront is expected to take years.

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Maersk in hot water for sending ships to notorious scrapping beaches

October 17th, 2016

While outwardly against the procedure, 14 ships of the Danish oil and shipping company Maersk, were being broken up on open beaches in India and Bangladesh.

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The EU’s effect on Blackpool’s beaches – before and after pictures

October 17th, 2016

As Brexit puts the future of EU laws protecting the environment in doubt, Greenpeace sent photographer Vanessa Miles to Blackpool to recreate a series of images she took in 1990 when just one in five UK beaches met bathing guidelines.

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Here are South Africa’s Blue Flag beaches for 2016

October 11th, 2016

South Africa has been awarded 58 Blue Flag status sites for 2016, with the most blue flag beaches in the southern hemisphere. 45 South African beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status for the 2016/17 season which opens officially on 1 November, along with five marinas and eight sustainable tourism boats.

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Great Pacific garbage patch far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows

October 4th, 2016

The vast patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean is far worse than previously thought, with an aerial survey finding a much larger mass of fishing nets, plastic containers and other discarded items than imagined.

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What Do A Band-Aid, Plastic Bag, And Balloon Have In Common?

September 28th, 2016

…” I saw all three In my 3.3km swim across the Strait Of Messina. Even though this waterway is known as a biodiversity hotspot, I saw no fish during what ended up being a nearly 5.2km swim…”

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Lebanese shun pricey, polluted beaches for trips abroad

September 28th, 2016

In a country like Lebannon, stretching along the Mediterranean, finding a beach to relax in the summer, should not be a problem. But as private developers have gobbled up seafront land, and families complain of ever-more polluted waters, many Lebanese say it is cheaper and cleaner to fly abroad than go to the beach at home…

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This Company Turns Plastic Bottle Trash From The Ocean Into Clothing

September 27th, 2016

The New York City-based startup, Bionic Yarn, turns used old plastic bottles, some of which were recovered from ocean shorelines, and turns them into yarns and fabrics for clothing.

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Not all bioplastics are created equal

September 23rd, 2016

Conventional plastics are seen as environmentally unfriendly because they’re made from fossil fuels. However, as plastic production grows, plant-derived polyethylene terephthalate (BioPET) has been touted as a more environmentally friendly alternative to PET, a plastic primarily used in beverage bottles. But a new study suggests that’s not always the case.

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