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

Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain

News, Pollution
Jun
7

The largest habitat for life on Earth is the deep ocean. It’s home to everything from jellyfish to giant bluefin tuna. But the deep ocean is being invaded by tiny pieces of plastic — plastic that people thought was mostly floating at the surface, and in amounts they never imagined.

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Microplastic throughout Monterey Bay

News, Pollution
Jun
6

A new study shows that microplastic particles are not only common from the surface to the seafloor, but they’re also being eaten by animals and incorporated into marine food webs. The most abundant types of plastic found in the water samples match those commonly used in consumer products. Most plastic waste comes from land, although it may travel far on ocean currents.

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Americans Consume Tens of Thousands of Microplastic Particles Every Year

Pollution
Jun
5

Americans consume more than 70,000 microplastic particles every year from the food they eat, the water they drink, and the air they breathe, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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Newborn Hawaii beach is already polluted with tiny pieces of plastic

News, Pollution
May
30

There’s this romantic idea of the remote tropical beach, clean and pristine. That kind of beach doesn’t exist anymore. Pohoiki adds to the growing body of evidence that plastic is most likely ubiquitous on beaches: even ones that look virgin.

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They partied on the beach. And then left 20,000 pounds of trash on it.

News, Pollution
May
28

Partygoers attending a “Floatopia” event spent the day drinking and bobbing in the Virginia Beach surf. And then they left behind tons of trash.

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Bird chick clip on BBC One’s Drowning in Plastic documentary leaved viewers in tears

Inform, Pollution
May
23

However hard this is to watch, we must face up to it.

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Beach cleanups are missing millions of pieces of plastic

News, Pollution
May
19

In the last decade, beach cleanups have grown into a global phenomenon, with volunteers gathering at regular intervals for the Sisyphean task of cleaning up plastic trash. Now, a new research suggests that beach cleanups can inadvertently mask the full scale of plastic pollution, much of which lies below the sand’s surface.

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Explorer says record-breaking deep dive “opening the door for science”

News, Pollution
May
14

An American diver set a new record for the deepest dive in history last month when he plunged nearly 36,000 feet. Though he was the first to make it to those depths, man’s impact is already present there with plastic scattered among the sea creatures.

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Over 180 countries -not including the US– agree to restrict global plastic waste trade

News, Pollution
May
11

The governments of 187 countries have agreed to control the movement of plastic waste between national borders, in an effort to curb the world’s plastic crisis — but the United States was not among them.

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Recent / Pollution

Bird chick clip on BBC One’s Drowning in Plastic documentary leaved viewers in tears

May 23rd, 2019

However hard this is to watch, we must face up to it.

Read More

Beach cleanups are missing millions of pieces of plastic

May 19th, 2019

In the last decade, beach cleanups have grown into a global phenomenon, with volunteers gathering at regular intervals for the Sisyphean task of cleaning up plastic trash. Now, a new research suggests that beach cleanups can inadvertently mask the full scale of plastic pollution, much of which lies below the sand’s surface.

Read More

Explorer says record-breaking deep dive “opening the door for science”

May 14th, 2019

An American diver set a new record for the deepest dive in history last month when he plunged nearly 36,000 feet. Though he was the first to make it to those depths, man’s impact is already present there with plastic scattered among the sea creatures.

Read More

Over 180 countries -not including the US– agree to restrict global plastic waste trade

May 11th, 2019

The governments of 187 countries have agreed to control the movement of plastic waste between national borders, in an effort to curb the world’s plastic crisis — but the United States was not among them.

Read More

The Toll of Tourism: Can Southeast Asia Save Its Prized Natural Areas?

April 20th, 2019

From Thailand to Bali, a huge increase in tourists, many from China and other rapidly developing economies, is straining sensitive ecosystems to the breaking point. Some countries are trying to control the boom, with a few closing popular destinations to allow damaged areas to heal.

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Continuing impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil spill

April 19th, 2019

Nine years ago tomorrow, April 20, 2010, crude oil began leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico in what turned out to be the largest marine oil spill in history. A long-term study suggests the oil is still affecting the salt marshes of the Gulf Coast.

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Carnival Cruise Ship is on probation for polluting the ocean. They’re still doing it.

April 17th, 2019

In the year after Carnival Corporation was convicted of systematically dumping oily waste into the ocean and lying about it to regulators, its ships illegally discharged more than a half-million gallons of treated sewage, gray water, oil and food waste, and burned heavy fuel oil in ports and waters close to shores around the world.

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Plastic in the North Atlantic has tripled since the 1960s

April 16th, 2019

For more than 60 years, scientists in the U.K. have been collecting data on marine plastic, assembling one of the most comprehensive datasets on how much plastic has filtered into the North Atlantic ocean.

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Micro plastics are raining down from the sky

April 15th, 2019

In what looks like a pristine, remote mountain region, tiny pieces of plastic pollution were found raining down from the sky—raising questions about the global extent of plastic pollution—a first-of-its-kind study has found.

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Scientists Say They Have Found a Viable Replacement for Petroleum-Based Plastic

April 11th, 2019

Scientists at Ohio State University say they have developed a viable alternative to petroleum-based plastic food packaging by using natural tree-based rubber.According to the researchers, the new biodegradable material holds promise for fighting the world’s growing plastic pollution problem, as well as for helping curb our reliance on fossil fuels.

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