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

Baltic Sea Countries Do Not Live Up To Commitments: WWF

The nine countries with a Baltic Sea coast are not doing enough to protect the very polluted body of water, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in the Baltic Sea Scorecard 2011, a report that assesses how good the countries around the Baltic Sea are at implementing environmental measures and agreements.

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Toxic Algae Still Turns Brittany’s Beaches Green

News, Pollution

One year after the French Government launched a National Plan Against Green Algae, toxic seaweed which have accumulated on beaches in Brittany, are still causing great problems along the country’s coastlines. All summer long, there have been constant and costly efforts to remove tons of toxic algae from beaches, but no sooner than the seaweed is removed, more grows.

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Oil Pipeline From Alberta Tar Sands To Texas Coast: On Its Way To Final Approval

News, Pollution

In a blow to campaigners, the US State Department said the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline, that will pump oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the Texas coast, would not cause significant damage to the environment…

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Dirty Laundry: Greenpeace Reports on Toxic Industrial Water Pollution

News, Pollution

A report just released by Greenpeace International, after a year-long study research into industrial water pollution, reveals the presence of hazardous chemicals in clothing items bearing the logos of 14 global popular brands, linking many of the same clothing brands to suppliers in China who were found to be releasing daily cocktail of chemicals into the Pearl River and Yangtze River deltas, discharging into the China Sea…

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Goa’s Coast Faces Overwhelming Pollution, India

News, Pollution

Beer bottles and plastic bags litter most beaches and only the distant sunsets remain untouched…

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North Sea Oil Pollution: “Something has gone wrong here,” Shell Declared

News, Pollution

It’s not the most reassuring apology in the world; alongside the apology came the admission that the second leak could take weeks to fix, that the pipe that sprung the leak is more than 30 years old, and that if Shell’s risk assessment, maintenance and inspection processes had been better, the accident wouldn’t have happened in the first place…

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Raising Awareness of Plastic Waste

News, Pollution

Most people are familiar with the concept of a carbon footprint. Many may also know there is such a thing as a water footprint. But whoever heard of a plastic footprint? Well, soon, more and more people will have. The Plastic Disclosure Project aims to “push the thinking about plastic pollution far beyond beach cleanups with an attempt to change the awareness and behavior of big users of plastic”…

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Bali Struggles With the Dark Side of Success

Bali Plastic Pollution
News, Pollution

Bali may still be the Island of the Gods and the Island of a Thousand Temples, but it is certainly no longer the island of pristine beaches. Construction cranes on beaches, damaged coral, and floating trash in the turquoise waters off Bali and on its sandy beaches, are unfortunate signs of just how successful the Indonesian resort island has been leading to coastal over-exploitation and pollution.

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Environmental Impacts of Algae-Derived Biodiesel

News, Pollution

Algae-based fuel is one of many options among the array of possible future energy sources.

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Recent / Pollution

California approves first broad US climate plan

December 18th, 2010

California, acting on its own against climate change, has approved a plan to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and let power plants, factories and eventually refiners and others to trade permits to pollute in a program generally known as cap-and-trade. California will become the second-largest carbon market in the world, following a European system.

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Plastic Waste Pollutes Adriatic coast

December 7th, 2010

Such pollution is a regular occurrence, but it has increased this year.

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National monument status urged for Arctic refuge


December 5th, 2010

The US President is being urged to bestow national monument status on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for its 50th anniversary in what supporters say would finally put the refuge’s coastal plain beyond the reach of oil companies. National monument status could put an estimated 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil beyond the grasp of oil companies forever.

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Charging for Plastic Bags Cut Bag Consumption by Half in China

November 29th, 2010

An environmental-economic evaluation of the Chinese ordinance against free plastic bags shows that people in China, the number one consumers of plastic bags in the world, reduced their consumption of plastic bags by half when stores were forced to charge consumers for the bags.

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Blue Flag or Red Herring: Do beach awards encourage the public to visit beaches?

November 26th, 2010

Surveys of beach visitor motivation in Ireland, Wales, Turkey and the USA indicate that beach awards play an insignificant role in motivation to visit beaches.

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Alaskan Coast: Feds set aside critical habitat for polar bear

November 26th, 2010

Nearly 95 percent of the designated habitat is sea ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas of Alaska’s northern coast.

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EPA Tells Coastal States to Consider Rising Ocean Acidity

November 16th, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says some states with coastal waters that are becoming more acidic because of carbon dioxide, should list them as impaired.

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Parts of Los Angeles County ban plastic bags

November 16th, 2010

Parts of Los Angeles County have joined other California communities in banning stores from using single-use plastic bags.

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Record number of British beaches reach highest European standards

November 15th, 2010

The number of blue flag beaches in England fell from 82 in 2008 to 71 last year, largely as a result of detritus and pollution. However, 86.2% of beaches (425) in England and Wales meet higher guideline standards this year, a huge increase from previous figures.

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Plastic debris killing Adriatic loggerhead turtles

November 4th, 2010

The shallow coastal waters of the northern Adriatic are one of the most important feeding grounds for loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean. The concentration of litter on the sea floor is among the highest along European coasts, after the northwestern Mediterranean and the Celtic Sea.

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