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

Oil spill: Stricken Ship’s Safety Issues Revealed

News, Pollution
Oct
11

Safety issues dogged the stricken container ship spewing oil into the Bay of Plenty as far back as July, it was revealed yesterday.

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Oil Spill Disaster In New Zealand : Worst In Decades

News, Pollution
Oct
11

An oil spill from a stranded cargo ship off New Zealand is the country’s worst environmental disaster in decades, the government says.

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Results of Pebble Mine Measure Expected Mid-Oct.

“Imagine a pit two miles wide by 2,000 feet deep, and an underground mine a mile deep. This gargantuan gold and copper operation would produce an estimated 10 billion tons of contaminated waste, 3,000 pounds for every man, woman and child on Earth…There are few human activities as toxic as large-scale mining…” As vote have been cast, it will be nearly two weeks before Alaskans know the outcome of an initiative aimed at stopping the Pebble Mine project, potentially the world’s largest man-made excavation.

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Green Project Attempts To Tackle Jakarta’s Huge Mountains of Waste

News, Pollution
Sep
27

Mountains of trash, about 6,000 tons, are dumped unceremoniously into Jakarta’s open landfills every day, leaking pollution into the waters or just ending up blown into the sea…But enterprising groups of activists have been busy trying to reduce the growing pile of garbage.

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Nitrate Levels Rising in Northwestern Pacific Ocean

News, Pollution
Sep
23

Changes in the ratio of nitrate to phosphorus in the oceans off the coasts of Korea and Japan caused by atmospheric and riverine pollutants may influence the makeup of marine plants and influence marine ecology, according to researchers from Korea and the U. S.

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Scottish Nuclear Fuel Leak Will Never Be Completely Cleaned Up

News, Pollution
Sep
21

Radioactive contamination that leaked for more than two decades from the Dounreay nuclear plant on the north coast of Scotland, polluting local beaches, the coastline and the seabed, will never be completely cleaned up, a Scottish government agency has admitted.

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26th Annual International Coastal Cleanup: Local Action, Global Change !

News, Pollution
Sep
16

In partnership with organizations and individuals across the globe, Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup engages people to remove trash and debris from the world’s beaches and waterways, identify the sources of debris, and change the behaviors that cause ocean trash in the first place. The 26th Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day is on September 17th, 2011.

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New York: Long Island South Shore Toxic Algal Bloom

News, Pollution
Sep
14

NOAA awarded a grant to State University of New York scientists to document the first known incidence of a bloom of harmful algae off Long Island’s south shore, and test a method that could control it.The algae, Cochlodinium polykrikiodes, has been linked to the mass deaths of wild and farmed fish worldwide, with catastrophic effects on aquaculture and local economies. Experience with this type of algae elsewhere suggests that, once established, blooms are likely to re-occur.

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Exploratory Drilling For Gas To Begin Soon Off Cyprus Southern Coast

News, Pollution
Sep
13

U.S. firm Noble Energy will soon begin exploratory drilling to confirm oil and gas deposits beneath the sea bed off Cyprus’ southern coast despite Turkey’s attempts to prevent such a move.

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Recent / Pollution

Tulum’s Dirty Beaches

January 25th, 2011

Lucy Gallagher of Mexiconservacion explains why some of Tulum’s beaches, Mexico, are so dirty.

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Carole Fisher’s Art Exhibit: “Sticks in The Minds”

January 21st, 2011

Nationally recognized artist Carole Fisher’s exhibit, “Sticks in the Mind: Alaska Oil Spill Project, 1989-2010,” opens today at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). She has spent the last 21 years conducting an artistic investigation into the Exxon Valdez disaster, interviewing more than 50 people in the process.

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An Environmental Impact Statement: Abstraction of Destruction

January 16th, 2011

The vivid color photographs of J. Henry Fair lead an uneasy double life as potent records of environmental pollution and as ersatz evocations of abstract painting, a strange battle between medium and message, between harsh truths and trite, generic beauty. His subjects include environmental degradation perpetuated on a regular, usually daily basis. “Abstraction of Destruction” is an exhibition at the Gerald Peters Gallery.

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Tracking Source of Microbial Contamination at the Beach

January 15th, 2011

Reliable methods to determine the origins of contaminants are needed in order to reduce those sources and maintain a healthy beach.

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Did You Just Eat a Plastic Bag?

January 7th, 2011

How Plastic Pollution Has Entered Our Food Chain. Research is just beginning to show that we are consuming many other chemicals through our seafood, and our disposable plastic waste may be a potent source of this contamination.

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Ban on plastic shopping bags, Italy

January 3rd, 2011

A ban on plastic bags has come into effect January 1st, in Italy, which has one of the highest rates of consumption of the bags in Europe.

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250 billion plastic fragments in Mediterranean

December 30th, 2010

The estimate comes from French and Belgian marine biologists who analysed water samples taken in July off France, northern Italy and Spain. The figure derives from 4,371 minute pieces of plastic, average weight 1.8 milligrams (0.00006 of an ounce) found in the samples, which extrapolates to roughly 500 tonnes for the entire Mediterranean.

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What’s Outside Counts, Too: European Law and Excess Packaging

December 27th, 2010

The citizens of Lincolnshire, England, were so fed up with the layers of plastic and cardboard and Styrofoam that encased their store purchases this fall that they took a high-priced, highly wrapped piece of meat to court.

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Urban Stormwater Runoff: A Significant Source of Beachwater Pollution

December 22nd, 2010

Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. Stormwater runoff is the most frequently identified source of beach closing and advisory days. The best way to protect beachgoers from water contamination is to prevent pollution from reaching the beach.

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100% of Most Challenging Plastic Wrapping Could Be Recycled With New Technology

December 21st, 2010

Researchers at the University of Warwick have devised a new technique which could process 100% of household plastic instead of the tiny fraction that currently actually gets processed.

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