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

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

News, Pollution

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?

Inform, Pollution

…” 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

Inform, Pollution

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

News, Pollution

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

News, Pollution

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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France Becomes First Country To Ban Plastic Cups And Dishes

News, Pollution

According to The Associated Press, France has become the first country in the world to ban disposable, plastic cups and dishes. Businesses have been given until Jan. 1, 2020 to comply with the measure.

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When Coastal cleanups become a habit

News, Pollution

Coastal Cleanups, which draw volunteers to help clean up coastline, rivers and streams, have helped educate people on the importance of keeping the waterways free of trash and debris. “Every day should be a day when we can make a difference.” “We pick up trash if we see it on a wildlife area or on a beach… “

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Norway and Turkey vote against ban on dumping mining waste at sea

News, Pollution

Norway and Turkey were the only two of 53 countries to vote against an international ban on the dumping of mining waste at sea, at a major conservation summit in Hawaii last week.

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Caribbean Sea earns US$400B a year, yet its marine ecosystem is increasingly threaten

In tandem with that increase in economic activity and earning is a projected rise in the number of threats to the ocean from the very activities which it supports. In the Caribbean Sea, 70 per cent of beaches are eroded due to destroyed reefs, sea level rise, and excessive coastal development.

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Recent / Pollution

International Coastal Cleanup: September 17, 2016

September 9th, 2016

Join the world’s largest volunteer effort for our ocean by finding an International Coastal Cleanup event location near you.

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Loving the Ocean Starts at Home

September 8th, 2016

Individuals really can make a huge difference. With an estimated 80% of ocean pollution starting on land the best way to beat marine pollution is by preventing it from ever reaching the sea.

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World Bank: Air pollution deaths costing global economy $225bn a year

September 8th, 2016

Premature deaths caused by poor air quality cost the global economy around $225bn in lost labour income during 2013, according to a major new economic study published today by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

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Nutrient pollution is changing sounds in the sea

September 7th, 2016

Nutrient pollution emptying into seas from cities, towns and agricultural land is changing the sounds made by marine life — and potentially upsetting navigational cues for fish and other sea creatures, a new study has found.

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Labor Day beach cleanup yields 355 pounds of garbage from beaches along California’s Central Coast

September 7th, 2016

Volunteers also saw a surprising shift from past cleanup efforts. Beaches that are typically considered party spots seemed tamer and tidier than usual. Beaches that are lesser known and more secluded, in contrast, were overrun with trash.

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Sargassum Watch Warns of Incoming Seaweed

September 6th, 2016

Sargassum beaching events in the Caribbean, West Africa, and other regions have received wide media attention, prompting action by regional governmental agencies and environmental groups seeking to understand this new phenomenon.

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Fish for dinner? Your seafood might come with a side of plastic

August 31st, 2016

Fish are “stuffing themselves” on plastic, but scientists are still trying to figure out what effect that might have on those of us who eat seafood.

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Global Congress Endorses Protection of Bristol Bay, Condemns Pebble Mine

August 31st, 2016

Native Alaskans, fishermen, conservationists and coalition partners today successfully took their battle against the proposed Pebble Mine to the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, securing overwhelming approval of a motion urging protection of Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine and other large-scale mining.

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The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age

August 29th, 2016

Experts say human impact on Earth so profound that Holocene must give way to epoch defined by the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear bomb tests, although an array of other signals, including plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete were now under consideration.

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As summer draws to a close, Israel beaches’ still plagued by garbage

August 26th, 2016

Only 47.4 percent of Israel’s beaches were deemed “clean” to “very clean” in the latest Clean Coast Index, a collection of measurements issued periodically by the Environmental Protection Ministry during the summer months.

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