Plastic Pollution

Photo: Manan Vastsyayana Photo: Manan Vastsyayana

Unprecedented Plastic Pollution
When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide

By Claire Le Guern Lytle

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

Residents, retailers decry proposal to reverse plastic bag ban

News, Pollution
Mar
13

Many residents on the Outer Banks say they oppose a bill in the N.C. General Assembly that would lift the ban on the use of thin plastic shopping bags by retailers.

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Sustainably attired: Disruptive Design Drives Sustainable Fashion Forward

News, Pollution
Mar
13

Though the concept of fast fashion stands in stark contrast to the notion of conscious consumerism and arguably sustainability itself, innovation and disruptive design play an important role in driving the industry towards a more circular, sustainable model. H&M has upped the ante on its Conscious Exclusive collection, utilizing BIONIC® — a revolutionary sustainable material manufactured from recycled polyester derived from plastic shoreline waste.

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Video captures moment plastic enters food chain

News, Pollution
Mar
11

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.

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U.S. EPA Reverses Obama-Era Request for Methane Emission Data from Oil and Gas Companies

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will no longer ask oil and gas well operators to submit information about their equipment or methane emissions. Methane is short-lived, but powerful greenhouse gas. Over the short term, it can trap heat at least 30 times more efficiently than carbon dioxide, and is thought to be responsible for about a quarter of modern global warming.

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Cost-effective solutions to sediment runoff and other land-based pollution affecting West Maui reefs

Land-based pollutants have been linked to the degradation of several Hawaiian reefs. Between 2000 and 2015, coral cover on West Maui’s northern reefs has dramatically declined from 30 percent to 10 percent.

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Abandoned oil wellhead exposed after rains wash away sand at Summerlamd Beach; CA

News, Pollution
Feb
28

There are dozens of old wells at Summerland Beach which was once a bustling oil field, pumping out oil and gas from the Santa Barbara Channel. Wells were later abandoned, and leaks started springing up on the sand and in the water..

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UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic

News, Pollution
Feb
23

UN Environment launched today an unprecedented global campaign to eliminate major sources of marine litter: microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic by the year 2022.

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Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest?

News, Pollution
Feb
22

The world recycles just 14% of the plastic packaging it uses. Even worse: 8m tons of plastic, much of it packaging, ends up in the oceans each year. 30% (by weight) of the plastic packaging isn’t recycled because the material is contaminated or too small for easy collection, has very low economic value or contains multiple materials that cannot be easily separated.

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Plastic from tyres ‘major source’ of ocean pollution

News, Pollution
Feb
22

Microplastics from tyres and textiles are a bigger source of marine pollution than the breakdown of larger plastic waste in some areas, says the IUCN. The IUCN reviewed data from seven global regions to look at how much of the estimated 9.5 million tonnes of new plastic waste released into the oceans each year comes from primary microplastics.

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Recent / Pollution

Cost-effective solutions to sediment runoff and other land-based pollution affecting West Maui reefs

March 3rd, 2017

Land-based pollutants have been linked to the degradation of several Hawaiian reefs. Between 2000 and 2015, coral cover on West Maui’s northern reefs has dramatically declined from 30 percent to 10 percent.

Read More

Abandoned oil wellhead exposed after rains wash away sand at Summerlamd Beach; CA

February 28th, 2017

There are dozens of old wells at Summerland Beach which was once a bustling oil field, pumping out oil and gas from the Santa Barbara Channel. Wells were later abandoned, and leaks started springing up on the sand and in the water..

Read More

UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic

February 23rd, 2017

UN Environment launched today an unprecedented global campaign to eliminate major sources of marine litter: microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic by the year 2022.

Read More

Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest?

February 22nd, 2017

The world recycles just 14% of the plastic packaging it uses. Even worse: 8m tons of plastic, much of it packaging, ends up in the oceans each year. 30% (by weight) of the plastic packaging isn’t recycled because the material is contaminated or too small for easy collection, has very low economic value or contains multiple materials that cannot be easily separated.

Read More

Plastic from tyres ‘major source’ of ocean pollution

February 22nd, 2017

Microplastics from tyres and textiles are a bigger source of marine pollution than the breakdown of larger plastic waste in some areas, says the IUCN. The IUCN reviewed data from seven global regions to look at how much of the estimated 9.5 million tonnes of new plastic waste released into the oceans each year comes from primary microplastics.

Read More

Indonesia to declare war on marine plastic debris: Environment minister

February 19th, 2017

Indonesia will declare its commitment to combat plastic debris in marines on Feb 23 when it hosts the fourth World’s Ocean Summit in Bali, the country’s environment minister said.

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Underwater seagrass beds dial back polluted seawater

February 19th, 2017

Seagrass meadows – bountiful underwater gardens that nestle close to shore and are the most common coastal ecosystem on Earth – can reduce bacterial exposure for corals, other sea creatures and humans, according to new research.

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Line drawn in the sand between beach access and protection

February 15th, 2017

Even on such a soggy, San Francisco day, people still enjoy city beaches. It’s incredible that 19th-century legislators had the foresight to preserve coastal areas as a public right in the California Constitution. For more than 40 years, the California Coastal Act has further protected “maximum access” to the coast “for all the people.”

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Pollution Has Worked Its Way Down To The World’s Deepest Waters

February 13th, 2017

The Mariana Trench in the northern Pacific is the deepest part of the world’s oceans. You might think a place that remote would be untouched by human activity. But the Mariana Trench is polluted.

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The Dangers of Surfing After a Rain

February 8th, 2017

To surf, or not to surf. That’s the question many of us frequently face, when a deluge falls from above, surface streets are lined with tributaries, and bacterial runoff rushes towards the ocean. The Surfrider Foundation just completed a three-year study exploring the dangers of surfing during or after a rain.

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