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

Adelaide Sinks Off Avoca Beach, Australia

News, Pollution
Apr
13

After a year of rolling legal action, the scuttling of HMAS Adelaide off Avoca Beach on the NSW central coast was allowed, and the decommissioned warship will become a scuba diving attraction by month’s end. Environmentalists fears lead paint on the Adelaide is a health risk and that the wreck will cause beach erosion and ruin the surf.

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It’s Official: There’s Plastic in All of the Subtropical Ocean Gyres

News, Pollution
Apr
9

Journalists and 5 Gyres Institute sail to the South to study plastic pollution in the South Pacific. Despite the lack of a theatrical spectacle, it’s still a surreal thing to see some of the results of the sampling.

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Flotsam From Japan’s Tsunami to be Carried by Currents and Pushed Onshore

News, Pollution
Apr
1

The biggest haul of floating debris will likely be carried by currents off of Japan toward Washington, Oregon and California, then turning toward Hawaii and back again toward Asia, unless wind and ocean currents eventually push some of the massive debris from Japan’s tsunami onto the shores of the U.S. West Coast, said Curt Ebbesmeyer, a Seattle oceanographer who has spent decades tracking flotsam.

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Papua New Guinea Coastal Mine Waste Dumping: The Ramu Mine Case

News, Pollution
Mar
27

The dumping of mine tailings waste into the shallow coastal marine environment is currently before the National Court of Papua New Guinea, in a case that will have far-reaching implications. At stake are the pristine waters of the Bismarck Sea and the livelihoods of thousands of coastal inhabitants on one hand, and the future of mine waste disposal on the other.

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5th International Marine Debris Conference, in Hawaii

News, Pollution
Mar
26

The conference brought together over 440 participants from 35 countries to discuss the most pressing issues surrounding plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways.

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Plant Poisons More Than 100 Villagers, Coastal Zhejiang Province China

News, Pollution
Mar
25

A total of 139 villagers in a village near Taizhou city in coastal Zhejiang province have been found to have elevated lead levels in their blood, Xinhua cited the provincial health department as saying in a statement.

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The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach

News, Pollution
Mar
24

This collection of hundreds of coloured, jagged shards could be a work of abstract art. But the objects in the photograph are the contents of the stomach of a sea turtle, found off the coast of Argentina, that lost its battle with plastic pollution.

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European Coastal Pollution Harms Ecosystems, Study Finds

The bodies of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), which live in estuaries or along coastlines where industrial activities take place, are highly contaminated. This is the result of a European study, involving Spanish participation, which warns of the danger to all the other species that share their ecosystem from ports throughout Europe, even in the Mediterranean.

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Shipwreck causes oil slick and threatens penguin colony on South Atlantic island

News, Pollution
Mar
21

A vessel has grounded on Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha UK overseas territory in the South Atlantic, causing an oil slick around the island which is home to nearly half the world’s population of northern rockhopper penguins. 1,500 tonnes of heavy crude oil from the MS Olivia, is leaking into the sea.

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Recent / Pollution

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