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

Microplastics found deep in sand where turtles nest

News, Pollution

Scientists found an average of 5,300 particles of plastic per cubic metre at depths of 60cm (2ft) on beaches in Cyprus used by green turtles and loggerheads. These beaches in Cyprus are located far from industrial practices and aren’t visited by large numbers of people. The findings support the theory that beaches act as a “sink” for marine micro plastics.

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More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Just washing them can pollute the oceans.

Inform, Pollution

It’s no secret that too many of the plastic products we use end up in the ocean. But you might not be aware of one major source of that pollution: our clothes.

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Satellite image shows Florence’s floodwaters polluting the Atlantic

News, Pollution

As the Carolinas’ swollen rivers crest, their “polluted floodwaters” are dumping out into the Atlantic, visibly discoloring the water offshore, federal experts have noted.

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Micronizing ocean plastics threaten sea turtle populations, ocean life cycle

Inform, Pollution

Ingestion of degrading ocean plastics likely poses a substantial risk to the survival of post-hatchling sea turtles because the particles can lead to blockages and nutritional deficiencies, according to new research.

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In pictures: Millions mark World Cleanup Day 2018

News, Pollution

Cleanups were organised in 152 countries around the world, with results from just 75 countries on Saturday night already confirming the participation of more than 14.5 million people. Full results of the day, including the amount of waste collected, were set to be released on Sunday.

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International Coastal Cleanup: September 15, 2018

Inform, Pollution

The International Coastal Cleanup began more than 30 years ago, when communities rallied together with the common goal of collecting and documenting the trash littering their coastline.

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Jerry Brown signs new laws to block Trump’s California offshore oil drilling plans

News, Pollution

In a move aimed at stopping Trump’s plans to expand offshore oil drilling along the California coast, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed two laws that prohibit construction of new pipelines that could bring the oil and gas to shore.

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Pipeline company found guilty in California’s worst coastal oil spill in 25 years

News, Pollution

A pipeline company was convicted of nine criminal charges Friday for causing the worst California coastal spill in 25 years, a disaster that blackened popular beaches for miles, killed wildlife and hurt tourism and fishing.

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Summer Ship Tracks in the Pacific

The large number of ships traversing the North Pacific, combined with all of the low clouds, make ship tracks more common here than anywhere else in the world. Roughly two-thirds of the world’s ship tracks are found in the Pacific.

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Recent / Pollution

Remember that kid who invented a way to clean up ocean plastic? He’s back, and it’s happening

September 7th, 2018

Boyan Slat’s solar-powered booms will soon be in the Pacific Ocean.

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As Florida’s toxic red tide stretches on, residents report health problems

September 3rd, 2018

Doctors in southwest Florida say they’ve seen an increase in patients complaining of breathing problems.

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Spiagge Bianche (White Beaches), Rosignano Marittimo, Italy

September 2nd, 2018

This deceiving white sand beach gets its brilliant hue from the chemical discharge of a nearby factory.

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Sea Chair, Video

August 30th, 2018

Sea Chair is made entirely from plastic recovered from our oceans. Together with local fishermen, the plastic is collected and made into a stool at sea.

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In India’s Largest City, A Ban on Plastics Faces Big Obstacles

August 28th, 2018

Facing a scourge of plastic bags, the Indian state that includes Mumbai mandated a sweeping ban on plastic bags and other throwaway plastic items. But the chaos that followed shows the challenges of restricting a material so deeply embedded in the modern economy.

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Invasive Species Are Riding on Plastic Across the Oceans

August 28th, 2018

Crustaceans and mollusks foreign to the United States have survived up to six years riding on ocean plastic trash.

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Plastic straw ban? Cigarette butts are the single greatest source of ocean trash

August 27th, 2018

Cigarette butts have long been the single most collected item on the world’s beaches, with a total of more than 60 million collected over 32 years.

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Ghost netting: Image emerges of decomposed turtle wrapped in plastic net

August 19th, 2018

Pictures taken from the upcoming environmental film Blue, which will be shown at the Ocean Film Festival UK & Ireland Tour, show the horrific effects of plastic pollution and ghost nets on marine life and the world’s oceans.

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Degrading plastics revealed as source of greenhouse gases

August 17th, 2018

Researchers have found that several greenhouse gases are emitted as common plastics degrade in the environment. Their study reports the unexpected discovery of the universal production of greenhouse gases methane and ethylene by the most common plastics when exposed to sunlight.

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Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic

August 5th, 2018

Piece by piece, an environmental threat is piling up, and we’re ALL to blame. Worse yet, even those of us trying to bring an end to the problem may not be doing as much good as we think.

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