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

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

Inform, Pollution

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

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

Inform, Pollution

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

News, Pollution

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

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

News, Pollution

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

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

News, Pollution

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

Inform, Pollution

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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Recent / Pollution

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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From entanglement to invasions of alien species: the harm caused by marine litter

March 20th, 2017

Marine litter is a threat to the marine ecosystem, human health and economic activities. A new European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) report sheds light on the many effects of litter in our oceans, and highlights the severity and scale of the issue. The report confirms that plastic items have the highest direct and indirect damaging impact.

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Venice Fights Back

March 18th, 2017

The world’s most beautiful city has never been more threatened. But a passionate movement of locals is determined to keep it alive.

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Doctors join forces, warn climate change is harming our health

March 15th, 2017

Climate change isn’t just happening in the Arctic Circle and Antarctica where more ice is melting year after year. Its impact is being felt right here at home, and it’s posing a threat to the health of millions of Americans, say doctors representing 11 top U.S. medical societies. They are joining forces in Washington, D.C., today to speak out about the health risks posed by climate change.

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What is the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?

March 15th, 2017

Not all trash ends up at the dump. A river, sewer or beach can’t catch everything the rain washes away, either. In fact, Earth’s largest landfill isn’t on land at all. This marine debris has sloshed into the public spotlight lately, thanks to growing media coverage as well as expeditions by scientists and explorers hoping to see plastic pollution in action.

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Tiny plastic pellets found on 73% of UK beaches

March 13th, 2017

A search of hundreds of beaches across the UK has found almost three-quarters of them are littered with tiny plastic pellets. The lentil-size pellets known as “nurdles” are used as a raw material by industry to make new plastic products.

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Residents, retailers decry proposal to reverse plastic bag ban

March 13th, 2017

Many residents on the Outer Banks say they oppose a bill in the N.C. General Assembly that would lift the ban on the use of thin plastic shopping bags by retailers.

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Sustainably attired: Disruptive Design Drives Sustainable Fashion Forward

March 13th, 2017

Though the concept of fast fashion stands in stark contrast to the notion of conscious consumerism and arguably sustainability itself, innovation and disruptive design play an important role in driving the industry towards a more circular, sustainable model. H&M has upped the ante on its Conscious Exclusive collection, utilizing BIONIC® — a revolutionary sustainable material manufactured from recycled polyester derived from plastic shoreline waste.

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Video captures moment plastic enters food chain

March 11th, 2017

A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves. The footage shows one way that plastic waste could be entering the marine and global food chain.

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U.S. EPA Reverses Obama-Era Request for Methane Emission Data from Oil and Gas Companies

March 4th, 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will no longer ask oil and gas well operators to submit information about their equipment or methane emissions. Methane is short-lived, but powerful greenhouse gas. Over the short term, it can trap heat at least 30 times more efficiently than carbon dioxide, and is thought to be responsible for about a quarter of modern global warming.

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