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

Mercury in Bay Area: a Legacy of California Mining

News, Pollution

Mercury contamination, a worldwide environmental problem, has been called “public enemy No. 1” in California’s San Francisco Bay.

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Amnesty slams Shell over oil spills in Nigeria

News, Pollution

Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth have filed an official complaint against the firm Shell for shirking responsibility for oil spills in Nigeria and wreaking havoc on the environment. Environmentalists call the Niger Delta the global capital of oil pollution, but unlike the Gulf of Mexico, there are no underwater robots, flotillas of scientists or oil booms here.

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Tulum’s Dirty Beaches


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”


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


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

News, Pollution

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?

Blog, Pollution

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

News, Pollution

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

News, Pollution

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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Recent / Pollution

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