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

The victory at Standing Rock could mark a turning point

The defeat of an energy company by indigenous activists shows what nonviolent unity can accomplish. There are lessons here as we enter a challenging new age.

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Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For ‘Deliberate Pollution’

News, Pollution
Dec
2

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.”

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Plastic Island: How our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard

The distance from humanity yawns out in front of you when you stand on the pale sands of this tiny Pacific island. Midway Atoll is just about the furthest piece of land from civilization and its constant engine whir, data and jostle. Standing on the island’s remote shoreline brings a calm and humility — until you look down at your feet.

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UN maritime agency to limit carbon emissions from international shipping

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki called on International Maritime Organization (IMO) members, in partnership with the maritime industry, to promote further progress on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships to contribute to the objective of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which enters into force on 4 November 2016…

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Beach asphalt removal project underway; Gulf Islands National Seashore

News, Pollution
Oct
28

The goal of the $10.85 million project, which began earlier in October, is to clean decades of debris from blacktopped roads and parking lots eroded by tropical storms and hurricanes. This work to remove small asphalt chunks from miles of gleaming white beachfront is expected to take years.

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Maersk in hot water for sending ships to notorious scrapping beaches

News, Pollution
Oct
17

While outwardly against the procedure, 14 ships of the Danish oil and shipping company Maersk, were being broken up on open beaches in India and Bangladesh.

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The EU’s effect on Blackpool’s beaches – before and after pictures

News, Pollution
Oct
17

As Brexit puts the future of EU laws protecting the environment in doubt, Greenpeace sent photographer Vanessa Miles to Blackpool to recreate a series of images she took in 1990 when just one in five UK beaches met bathing guidelines.

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Here are South Africa’s Blue Flag beaches for 2016

News, Pollution
Oct
11

South Africa has been awarded 58 Blue Flag status sites for 2016, with the most blue flag beaches in the southern hemisphere. 45 South African beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status for the 2016/17 season which opens officially on 1 November, along with five marinas and eight sustainable tourism boats.

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Great Pacific garbage patch far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows

News, Pollution
Oct
4

The vast patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean is far worse than previously thought, with an aerial survey finding a much larger mass of fishing nets, plastic containers and other discarded items than imagined.

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Recent / Pollution

The EU’s effect on Blackpool’s beaches – before and after pictures

October 17th, 2016

As Brexit puts the future of EU laws protecting the environment in doubt, Greenpeace sent photographer Vanessa Miles to Blackpool to recreate a series of images she took in 1990 when just one in five UK beaches met bathing guidelines.

Read More

Here are South Africa’s Blue Flag beaches for 2016

October 11th, 2016

South Africa has been awarded 58 Blue Flag status sites for 2016, with the most blue flag beaches in the southern hemisphere. 45 South African beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status for the 2016/17 season which opens officially on 1 November, along with five marinas and eight sustainable tourism boats.

Read More

Great Pacific garbage patch far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows

October 4th, 2016

The vast patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean is far worse than previously thought, with an aerial survey finding a much larger mass of fishing nets, plastic containers and other discarded items than imagined.

Read More

What Do A Band-Aid, Plastic Bag, And Balloon Have In Common?

September 28th, 2016

…” I saw all three In my 3.3km swim across the Strait Of Messina. Even though this waterway is known as a biodiversity hotspot, I saw no fish during what ended up being a nearly 5.2km swim…”

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Lebanese shun pricey, polluted beaches for trips abroad

September 28th, 2016

In a country like Lebannon, stretching along the Mediterranean, finding a beach to relax in the summer, should not be a problem. But as private developers have gobbled up seafront land, and families complain of ever-more polluted waters, many Lebanese say it is cheaper and cleaner to fly abroad than go to the beach at home…

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This Company Turns Plastic Bottle Trash From The Ocean Into Clothing

September 27th, 2016

The New York City-based startup, Bionic Yarn, turns used old plastic bottles, some of which were recovered from ocean shorelines, and turns them into yarns and fabrics for clothing.

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Not all bioplastics are created equal

September 23rd, 2016

Conventional plastics are seen as environmentally unfriendly because they’re made from fossil fuels. However, as plastic production grows, plant-derived polyethylene terephthalate (BioPET) has been touted as a more environmentally friendly alternative to PET, a plastic primarily used in beverage bottles. But a new study suggests that’s not always the case.

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France Becomes First Country To Ban Plastic Cups And Dishes

September 21st, 2016

According to The Associated Press, France has become the first country in the world to ban disposable, plastic cups and dishes. Businesses have been given until Jan. 1, 2020 to comply with the measure.

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When Coastal cleanups become a habit

September 17th, 2016

Coastal Cleanups, which draw volunteers to help clean up coastline, rivers and streams, have helped educate people on the importance of keeping the waterways free of trash and debris. “Every day should be a day when we can make a difference.” “We pick up trash if we see it on a wildlife area or on a beach… “

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Norway and Turkey vote against ban on dumping mining waste at sea

September 14th, 2016

Norway and Turkey were the only two of 53 countries to vote against an international ban on the dumping of mining waste at sea, at a major conservation summit in Hawaii last week.

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