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

Sea Chair, Video

Sea Chair is made entirely from plastic recovered from our oceans. Together with local fishermen, the plastic is collected and made into a stool at sea.

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In India’s Largest City, A Ban on Plastics Faces Big Obstacles

News, Pollution

Facing a scourge of plastic bags, the Indian state that includes Mumbai mandated a sweeping ban on plastic bags and other throwaway plastic items. But the chaos that followed shows the challenges of restricting a material so deeply embedded in the modern economy.

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Invasive Species Are Riding on Plastic Across the Oceans

Inform, Pollution

Crustaceans and mollusks foreign to the United States have survived up to six years riding on ocean plastic trash.

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Plastic straw ban? Cigarette butts are the single greatest source of ocean trash

News, Pollution

Cigarette butts have long been the single most collected item on the world’s beaches, with a total of more than 60 million collected over 32 years.

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Ghost netting: Image emerges of decomposed turtle wrapped in plastic net

Pictures taken from the upcoming environmental film Blue, which will be shown at the Ocean Film Festival UK & Ireland Tour, show the horrific effects of plastic pollution and ghost nets on marine life and the world’s oceans.

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Degrading plastics revealed as source of greenhouse gases

News, Pollution

Researchers have found that several greenhouse gases are emitted as common plastics degrade in the environment. Their study reports the unexpected discovery of the universal production of greenhouse gases methane and ethylene by the most common plastics when exposed to sunlight.

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Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic

Piece by piece, an environmental threat is piling up, and we’re ALL to blame. Worse yet, even those of us trying to bring an end to the problem may not be doing as much good as we think.

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For Marine Life, New Threats from a Fast-Tracked Canadian Pipeline

A new Canadian government-backed pipeline that will triple the amount of thick Alberta tar sands oil flowing to a British Columbia port poses significant risks for a threatened population of killer whales and other coastal marine life.

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What is a red tide?

Harmful algal blooms pop up nearly every summer, turning coastal waters red and creating problems for marine life and humans.

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Recent / Pollution

At Last, the Shipping Industry Begins Cleaning Up Its Dirty Fuels

July 17th, 2018

By 2020, the global shipping fleet will be required to slash the noxious emissions from thick, sulfur-laden “bunker” fuel, a move that is expected to sharply reduce air pollution and prevent millions of cases of childhood asthma and other respiratory ailments.

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Powering ships with plastic in Amsterdam

July 13th, 2018

In the Port of Amsterdam, a new factory is being built that could revolutionize the way we dispose of plastic waste. Utilizing groundbreaking technology, the facility will use previously unrecyclable plastic to create fuel for diesel powered cargo ships.

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More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution

July 10th, 2018

Encouraging individuals to recycle more will never solve the problem of a massive production of single-use plastic that should have been avoided in the first place.

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Hyatt joins Starbucks and other companies in eliminating plastic straws

July 9th, 2018

Hyatt Hotels is joining the growing count of companies and government entities moving to eliminate plastic straws in favor of ocean-friendlier alternatives.

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Why is Hawaii banning oxybenzone and octinoxate from sunscreens?

July 9th, 2018

The two ingredients help protect skin from UV rays, but researchers have found that they also cause bleaching, deformities, DNA damage and ultimately death in coral when sunscreen washes off beachgoers or is discharged into wastewater treatment plants and deposited into bodies of water.

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What are businesses doing to turn off the plastic tap?

July 5th, 2018

Faced with the undeniable consequences of a toxic tide of plastic, people around the world are rejecting single-use plastics and pledging to live more sustainably. Governments are acting too: More than 50 countries have signed up to the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, making this the largest global compact for fighting marine litter.

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Deepwater Horizon disaster altered building blocks of ocean life

July 5th, 2018

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster may have had a lasting impact upon even the smallest organisms in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists have found – amid warnings that the oceans around America are also under fresh assault as a result of environmental policies under Donald Trump.

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10,000 Pounds of Ocean Plastic Is Turned Into a Leaping 38-Foot-Tall Whale

June 30th, 2018

In response to the estimated 150 million tons of plastic trash currently in the ocean, Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm StudioKCA has created an incredible installation for the Bruges Triennial. Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) is a 38-foot-tall whale fabricated from 5 tons of plastic waste found from the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans.

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China just handed the World a 111-million-ton trash problem

June 25th, 2018

The world’s biggest waste importer is no longer buying. So where’s all that trash going to go?

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Beachgoers Beware? 5 Pathogens That Lurk In Sand

June 23rd, 2018

Although most microbes in the sand are harmless, some are linked with disease. Here are five types of pathogens found in sand.

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