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

Building Schools And Houses Out Of Plastic Trash

“How can we change the world? It starts with the kids…”

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Decline in Dead Zones: Efforts to Heal Chesapeake Bay Are Working

Although climatic factors and sea level rise are influencing hypoxia, efforts to reduce the flow of fertilizers, animal waste and other pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay, appear to be giving a boost to the bay’s health, a new study that analyzed 60 years of water quality data has concluded.

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New Charges As Storm Threatens Stranded N.Z. Ship

News, Pollution

Officers from Rena, the cargo ship stranded on a New Zealand reef for nearly a month now, faced new charges Wednesday amid ongoing fears the vessel could break up, leaking more oil and worsening the environmental disaster.

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EU To Extend Coastal Pollution Fines To 200 Nautical Miles

News, Pollution

The European Commission proposed new rules to force oil-drilling companies to pay for pollution caused up to 200 nautical miles off European coastlines.

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Houses Made Of Plastic Bottles, Argentina

News, Pollution

A man in Argentina who built his house and furniture out of plastic bottles has been so successful that he is now teaching other people how to do the same.

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North Sea Oil Spill Risk Unacceptably High

News, Pollution

The European commission has warned that the likelihood of a Deepwater Horizon-type accident in the North Sea remains “unacceptably high” as it outlined new laws to counter the danger.

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Up to 20 million tons of debris from Japan’s tsunami moving toward Hawaii

Up to 20 million tons of debris from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March, is traveling faster than expected and could reach the U.S. West Coast in three years. The marine debris were recently spotted by a Russian ship’s crew.

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NZ, Almost 500 Tonnes Of Oil Pumped From Rena Cargo Ship

News, Pollution

481 tonnes of oil has been pumped from the stricken ship Rena, which originally held 772 tonnes of oil, as the salvage operation accelerates. 10 tonnes of fuel oil escaped the beleaguered ship on Saturday night and yesterday morning, and was being swept north by the tide, towards Mayor Island, a wildlife refuge and marine reserve.

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Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Woldwide: Sources and Sinks

News, Pollution

Scientists are reporting that household washing machines seem to be a major source of so-called “microplastic” pollution, bits of polyester and acrylic smaller than the head of a pin, that they now have detected on the shorelines at 18 sites worldwide representing six continents from the poles to the equator, with more material in densely populated areas.

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Recent / Pollution

Plastic Pollution and Chile Coastline, The Latest 5 Gyres Mission

March 10th, 2011

5 Gyres, an organization that seeks to study plastic pollution in waters around the world, has embarked on a new mission exploring the southern coast of Chile to document any and all incidents of plastic pollution.

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Sustainable Surf Craft, a Project by Kevin Cunningham

March 7th, 2011

Inspired by the beauty of nature yet distressed by the large amounts of man-made debris in the oceans washing up on the beaches where he rides, surfer and artist Kevin Cunningham, embarked on a series of surfboards making, that reclaim trash that washes up onto the shore. It is a dichotomy between the natural and unnatural.

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Trade group sues over polar bear critical habitat, Anchorage, Alaska

March 4th, 2011

Designation of critical habitat does not automatically block development but requires federal officials to consider whether a proposed action would adversely affect the polar bear’s habitat and interfere with its recovery.The lawsuit is the first filed in opposition to the critical habitat designation.

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One Plastic Beach

March 2nd, 2011

Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang have been collecting plastic debris off one beach in Northern California for over ten years. Each piece of plastic they pick up, comes back to their house where it gets cleaned, categorized and stored before being used for their art.

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Hydrofracking, Water, Watersheds, and the Ocean

February 28th, 2011

The Ocean connects all things.

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Waste Land, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

February 25th, 2011

Deservedly nominated at this year’s Oscars as Best Documentary Feature, Lucy Walker’s life-affirming film Waste Land, travels to the squalor of Rio de Janeiro, which boasts the largest landfill site in the world.

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Border battle in Russia’s Arctic over oil, BP to Drill In Protected National Park

February 20th, 2011

Oil drilling licenses have been distributed for drilling operations in the Kara Sea, off the coast of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which borders the sea along the west and up to the north.

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Global warming could spur toxic algae, bacteria in marine environment

February 20th, 2011

Unhealthy oceans impact not only human and animal health but also affect countries’ economies, said Lubchenco, noting that US coastal states are home to eight in 10 Americans and generated 83 percent of US GDP in 2007.

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Cargo Ship Leaking Oil in Norway’s Only Marine Reserve

February 18th, 2011

According to Norway’s environment ministry, the park created in June 2009 stretches across 354 square kilometres (137 square miles) and is home to a wide variety of sea birds, marine life and fragile coral reefs.

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Dirty Secrets Behind Jeans: China blighted by industrial pollution

February 10th, 2011

A Greenpeace report has called on the Chinese textile industry to clean up its processes after finding high levels of pollution in the southern industrial towns of Xintang the “jeans capital of the world” and Gurao.Toxic runoff from China’s textile industry has made its way into rivers and other waterways. Many are now heavily polluted with chemicals used for dying, printing, bleaching and washing.

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