Category Archives: Pollution

Cleaning up the plastic in the ocean


“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Discarded plastic is piling up around the world and pooling in the ocean. Sharyn Alfonsi reports on the problem’s deadly consequences for wildlife and what can be done to stop it…

Read Full Article and Watch Video, CBS News (12-14-2018)

This floating pipe is trying to clean up all the plastic in the ocean; CNN (10-11-2018)

Remember that kid who invented a way to clean up ocean plastic? He’s back, and it’s happening; MNN (09-04-2018)
Boyan Slat’s solar-powered booms will soon be in the Pacific Ocean…

Inventor tries to conquer the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”; CBS News (09-07-2018)
A ship on Saturday will start towing a long device from Northern California more than 1,000 miles out to sea to begin scooping up a massive heap of trash that’s estimated to weigh 88,000 tons. It may look like a giant pipeline, but the 2,000-foot-long contraption will soon be cleaning up what’s known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” made up of an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of floating plastic…

Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project Launches Historic First Prototype at Sea, EcoWatch (06-23-2016)
Boyan Slat’s ambitious plan to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has taken another step towards reality with its first prototype to be tested at sea. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, founded by the 21-year-old Slat, has deployed a 100-meter clean-up boom today in the North Sea in The Netherlands…

Boyan Slat to Deploy ‘Longest Floating Structure in World History’ to Clean Ocean Plastic; EcoWatch (06-03-2015)

20 Years Old Aeronautical Engineer Boyan Slat Now Has the Funds to Build His Ocean Cleanup Machine, Business Week (09-17-2014)

An ocean of plastic: Magnitude of plastic waste going into the ocean calculated, UCSB Current

Plastic Pollution: “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” Coastal Care
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…

Gambian environmental activists take swift Action against Chinese plant polluting their ocean water

sand-barges
Sand barges, Hong Kong, South China Sea. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

After activists said a Chinese-run fish processing plant – that arrived in 2014 – had failed to remove a pipe accused of spewing toxic waste into the sea, local youth issued an ultimatum: Dig the pipe up, or we will. In March they did, storming the beach.

For more than two decades, few in this tiny West African nation dared to speak out. Opposing voices were silenced by arrests and killings.

Another high-profile demonstration earlier this year ended in the deaths of three protesters who had demanded the end of sand mining activities…

Gambians are now speaking up as part of a nascent environmental movement…

Read Full Article; Atlanta Black Star (12-04-2018)

China’s search for sand is destroying Mozambique’s pristine beaches; Quartz Africa (10-23-2018)
The community of Nagonha in northern Mozambique sits on a tall dune with lush greenery on the one side, and a turquoise Indian ocean on the other. It should have been the kind of unspoiled landscape that Mozambique’s growing tourism industry is beginning to take advantage of. Instead, a Chinese mining company has irrevocably tarnished the scenery, and people’s lives…

The Market For African Beach Sand: Who’s Buying, Selling And Mining It?, AFK Insider (02-17-2017)
Sand mining on beaches and in riverbeds is a source of income for unemployed Africans, but it’s often an unregulated — or under-regulated — business. Environmental impact is a growing concern…

Sand mining decimates African beaches, DW (02-15-2017)

Concrete, or Beaches? World’s Sand Running Out As Global Construction Booms; The Ecologist (05-09-2017)
A crucial component of concrete, sand is vital to the global construction industry…

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
Beach and dune sand mining, South Africa.”Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource. The traditional building of one average-sized house requires 200 tons of sand; a hospital requires 3,000 tons of sand; each kilometer of highway built requires 30,000 tons of sand… A nuclear plant, a staggering 12 million tons of sand…”


Learn more about beach sand mining in Africa: Sand Mining Database, By Coastal Care

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care

Marine waste is turning the Earth into a plastic planet


“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The Ocean Atlas published by the German Heinrich Boll Foundation, an independent international green think tank for policy reform and the University of Kiel’s Future Ocean Cluster of Excellence, lists the top 20 nations with the worst plastic waste mismanagement around the world.

China, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Algeria, Turkey, India, Brazil, Pakistan, North Korea, United States, Myanmar and Bangladesh, are responsible for 83 percent of global plastic waste mismanagement. The Ocean Atlas says 80 percent of plastic waste in the oceans comes from dry land, mainly from countries with no or poor waste management…

Read Full Article, IPS News (11-28-2018)

Top 20 Countries Ranked by Mass of Mismanaged Plastic Waste, Earth Day (04-06-2018)

We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it; The National Geographic (11-07-2018)

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)
Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem…

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care – ©2009
” 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…
The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”

You Can Help Turn the Tide on Plastic. Here’s How; The National Geographic (05-26-2018)
Do these six pain-free things, and you’ll help reduce the impact plastic is having on oceans and other waterways around the world…

Homeless man cleans up beaches every day, Cape Town; Metro (03-15-2016)
The man is called Dan. He’s 28 and homeless, and he grew up on the Eastern Cape. Every day, he cleans the beaches for no other reason than to ‘make the place nice’ because he’s ’embarrassed about the pollution…’

A running list of action on plastic pollution; National Geographic (10-29-2018)

How plastic waste moves in the environment


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A researcher for the first time has modeled how microplastic fibers move through the environment. The work could someday help communities better understand and reduce plastics pollution, which is a growing problem around the world…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-27-2018)

We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it; The National Geographic (11-07-2018)

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)
Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem…

Putting the brakes on fast fashion; UNEP (11-12-2018)

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care – ©2009
” 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…
The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”

You Can Help Turn the Tide on Plastic. Here’s How; The National Geographic (05-26-2018)
Do these six pain-free things, and you’ll help reduce the impact plastic is having on oceans and other waterways around the world…

A running list of action on plastic pollution; National Geographic (10-29-2018)

Cruise ship captain fined €100,000 for using dirty fuel


Super-sized cruise ship, Venice, Italy. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care
“Environmentalists have long railed against what they brand “sea monsters,” virtually floating cities, each pumping massive amounts of greenhouse gases — sailing perilously close to the sea coast to thrill passengers aboard”…

Excerpts;

The captain of a cruise ship found to be burning fuel with excessive sulphur levels has been fined €100,000 in a Marseille court, the first such ruling in France.

The prosecution was intended to signal a new seriousness in tackling pollution from cruise ships…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (11-26-2018)

Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For ‘Deliberate Pollution’; NPR (12-01-2016)
The California-based cruise operator, Princess Cruise Lines, will pay a $40 million fine for “deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up,” according to the Department of Justice, which calls it “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution.”..

Federal penalties against polluters at lowest level in a decade under Trump; Guardian UK (02-09-2018)

Venice Is Restricting Access to Cruise Ships; Travel & Leisure (11-08-2017)

At Last, the Shipping Industry Begins Cleaning Up Its Dirty Fuels; Yale e360 (06-28-2018)
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…

A Satellite’s View of Ship Pollution; NASA (02-07-2013)

Powering ships with plastic in Amsterdam; UNEP (07-09-2018)

Europe Takes First Steps in Electrifying World’s Shipping Fleets; Yale E360 (02-22-2018)
Container ships, tankers, freighters, and cruise liners are a significant source of CO2 emissions and other pollutants. Led by Norway, Europe is beginning to electrify its coastal vessels – but the task of greening the high seas fleet is far more daunting…

“FREIGHTENED – The Real Price of Shipping,” a movie by multi award-winning filmmaker Denis Delestrac-©-2016; (03-31-2016)
90% of the goods we consume in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The cargo shipping industry is a key player in world economy and forms the basis of our very model of modern civilisation; without it, it would be impossible to fulfil the ever-increasing demands of our societies. Yet the functioning and regulations of this business remain largely obscure to many, and its hidden costs affect us all. Due to their size, freight ships no longer fit in traditional city harbours; they have moved out of the public’s eye, behind barriers and check points…

The Notion of “Ecological Prejudice” Now in the French Civil Code; Latham London (01-17-2017)
With the Biodiversity Law n°2016-1087 of August 8, 2016, the French Civil code now formally recognises “ecological prejudice” (préjudice écologique) as a category of indemnifiable damage. The move is symbolically significant and builds on the recognition of this category of damages by the Court of Appeals of Paris on March 30, 2010 in the 1999 Erika shipwreck matter (which resulted in pollution of over 400km of the French Brittany coastline).
The legal recognition of ecological prejudice can be traced to the Court’s landmark ruling, in which it was decided that “the ecological prejudice resulting from damage to non-mercantile environmental assets shall be compensated by monetary equivalent”. It further defined the matter as an “… objective prejudice … [which] is to apply to any non-negligible harm to the natural environment, that is, to the air, the atmosphere, water, soils, earths, landscapes, natural sites, biodiversity and the interactions between these elements, which may carry no repercussion for any specific human interest but affects a legitimate collective interest”.

Putting the brakes on fast fashion

marine-debris-orange
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Fashion revolves around the latest trends but is the industry behind the curve on the only trend that ultimately matters – the need to radically alter our patterns of consumption to ensure the survival of the planet.

The fashion industry produces 20 per cent of global wastewater and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally and it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to make a typical pair of jeans.

Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget.

Washing clothes also releases half a million tonnes of microfibres into the ocean every year…

Read Full Article; UNEP (11-12-2018)

Cruise ship to provide ‘$2.1m undertaking’ after Great Barrier Reef spill

ocean giants
“Environmentalists have long railed against what they brand “sea monsters,” virtually floating cities,each pumping massive amounts of greenhouse gases — sailing perilously close to the sea coast to thrill passengers aboard”… Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Carnival Australia has been compelled to provide a “$2.1m undertaking” after spilling 28,000 litres of liquid food waste into the Great Barrier Reef’s protected waters…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (11-08-2018)

Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For ‘Deliberate Pollution’; NPR (12-01-2016)
The California-based cruise operator, Princess Cruise Lines, will pay a $40 million fine for “deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up,” according to the Department of Justice, which calls it “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution.”..

Venice Is Restricting Access to Cruise Ships; Travel & Leisure (11-08-2017)

We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it.


“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Because plastic wasn’t invented until the late 19th century, and production really only took off around 1950, we have a mere 9.2 billion tons of the stuff to deal with. Of that, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste. And of that waste, a staggering 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin—a figure that stunned the scientists who crunched the numbers in 2017.

No one knows how much unrecycled plastic waste ends up in the ocean, Earth’s last sink…

Read Full Article; The National Geographic (11-07-2018)

Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic; CBS News (08-05-2018)
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…

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)
Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem…

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care – ©2009
” 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…
The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”

You Can Help Turn the Tide on Plastic. Here’s How; The National Geographic (05-26-2018)
Do these six pain-free things, and you’ll help reduce the impact plastic is having on oceans and other waterways around the world…

A running list of action on plastic pollution; National Geographic (10-29-2018)

This floating pipe is trying to clean up all the plastic in the ocean; CNN (10-11-2018)
A 2,000 foot-long floating pipe nicknamed Wilson is about to start its mission to collect all the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…

To clean up ocean plastics, increase focus on coasts, Science Daily (01-19-2016)
The most efficient way to clean up ocean plastics and avoid harming ecosystems is to place plastic collectors near coasts, according to a new study…

Loving the Ocean Starts at Home, National Geographic (09-08-2016)

A running list of action on plastic pollution

coastal-clean-up
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The world has a plastic pollution problem and it’s snowballing—but so is public awareness and action.

Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean from coastal regions. That’s about equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet…

Read Full Article; National Geographic (10-29-2018)

To clean up ocean plastics, increase focus on coasts, Science Daily (01-19-2016)
The most efficient way to clean up ocean plastics and avoid harming ecosystems is to place plastic collectors near coasts, according to a new study…

You Can Help Turn the Tide on Plastic. Here’s How; The National Geographic (05-26-2018)
Do these six pain-free things, and you’ll help reduce the impact plastic is having on oceans and other waterways around the world…

This floating pipe is trying to clean up all the plastic in the ocean; CNN (10-11-2018)
A 2,000 foot-long floating pipe nicknamed Wilson is about to start its mission to collect all the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…

Biodegradable plastic ‘false solution’ for ocean waste problem; Guardian UK (05-23-2016)

Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest? Guardian UK (02-22-2017)
Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world’s oceans. Now, an organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor that could operate on land or at sea…

More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution; Scientific American (07-06-2018)

The planet is on edge of a global plastic calamity; Guardian UK (06-05-2018)

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)
Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem…

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves. The footage shows one way that plastic waste could be entering the marine and global food chain…

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016…

Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show; Guardian UK (09-08-2017)
New studies find microplastics in salt from the US, Europe and China, adding to evidence that plastic pollution is pervasive in the environment…

People may be breathing in microplastics, health expert warns; Guardian UK (05-10-2016)
People could be breathing in microparticles of plastic, according to a leading environmental health expert, with as yet unknown consequences on health…

Plastic Pollution: “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” Coastal Care
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…