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

As summer draws to a close, Israel beaches’ still plagued by garbage

News, Pollution
Aug
26

Only 47.4 percent of Israel’s beaches were deemed “clean” to “very clean” in the latest Clean Coast Index, a collection of measurements issued periodically by the Environmental Protection Ministry during the summer months.

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Cape Town beach pollution fears; South Africa

News, Pollution
Aug
25

Kayakers paddling around Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town, have been alarmed at the amount of pollution flowing out of three stormwater drains into the sea, and have taken samples to try to identify what it is.

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Want real-time beach pollution data? There’s an app for that

News, Pollution
Aug
25

Heal the Bay has upgraded its Beach Report Card website and app to include, for the first time, real-time pollution predictions in the surf zones at five Southern California beaches.

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Vietnamese beaches hit by worst toxic chemical spill have been deemed safe for swimming

News, Pollution
Aug
23

The government seems to be flailing in its attempt to convince people that the beaches along Vietnam’s central coast are recovering from a devastating toxic chemical spill, that killed an estimated 115 tons of fish off the central coast.

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Tanzania: Total Plastics Use Ban Plan By Next January Remains

News, Pollution
Aug
21

The government has reiterated that it won’t back down on its decision to ban the use of plastic bags effective January next year.

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Cubans bemoan trashing of island’s beaches

Inform, Pollution
Aug
21

Litter is a problem virtually everywhere in the world. But the trashing of Cuba’s world-class beaches by beachgoers has become so extreme, that tourists are complaining and Cubans bemoan it as a symptom of something amiss in a nation that’s long cherished cleanliness, order and mutual respect.

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Authorities investigate source of 30km oil spill in Darwin harbor, Australia

News, Pollution
Aug
21

Environmentalists says the spill could be devastating for the harbour’s mangrove and marine ecosystems and those responsible needed to be found.

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Study maps hidden water pollution in U.S. coastal areas

News, Pollution
Aug
19

Researchers have uncovered previously hidden sources of ocean pollution along more than 20 percent of America’s coastlines.

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Plastic ‘continents’: Is there a way out?

News, Pollution
Aug
1

Plastic “continents” are not static. Based on the oceanic circulation modelling work conducted in the Pacific, researchers have recently shown that there are exit currents for these areas of the sea where these piles of waste build up.

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Recent / Pollution

Plastic ‘continents’: Is there a way out?

August 1st, 2016

Plastic “continents” are not static. Based on the oceanic circulation modelling work conducted in the Pacific, researchers have recently shown that there are exit currents for these areas of the sea where these piles of waste build up.

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Aquatic Olympians Face a Toxic Stew in Rio

July 30th, 2016

Environmentalists and scientists say Rio’s waters are much more contaminated than previously thought.

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Slimy Green Beaches May Be Florida’s New Normal?

July 28th, 2016

The green slime that washed onto Florida beaches earlier this month marks the eighth time since 2004 that toxic algae have fouled the Sunshine State’s storied coastline. The guacamole-thick algae that fouled both coasts will likely be a regular occurrence for the Sunshine State. Here’s why.

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1.5 million gallons sewage spill shuts down beaches 20 miles away, Los Angeles

July 19th, 2016

Officials say at least 1.5 million gallons of sewage spewed from a 90-year-old pipe that burst in an industrial area near downtown Los Angeles, leading beaches to close 20 miles downriver in Long Beach.

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Ship engine emissions adversely affect the health of inhabitants of coastal regions

July 19th, 2016

This was the main finding of a study on the influence of ship engine emissions on macrophages in the lungs. Since macrophages also play a key role in lung diseases such as COPD, the study is important for understanding the health risks of ship exhausts.

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Young artists get creative to help keep beaches clean

July 16th, 2016

A community arts collaboration between the Town of Nags Head, NC and High School students the OBCan project, is in its sixth year. New galvanized steel trash cans festooned with the students’ creative artwork are being placed at several public beach accesses along 11 miles of oceanfront. Vibrantly-colored designs draw beach with the expectation that trash will more likely find its way into the containers if they are eye-catching.

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How Lasers Can Help Clean Up Beach Trash

July 13th, 2016

New 3-D modeling technology has the power to scan coastlines for garbage much faster than humans can.

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60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic

July 13th, 2016

Researchers have found that 60 percent of post-hatchling loggerhead turtles stranded on southern Cape beaches in South Africa have been impacted by growing quantities of human-caused debris such as plastic fragments, packaging and fibers.

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Plastic ‘tsunami’ trashes Hong Kong beaches

July 12th, 2016

A deluge of garbage is overwhelming Hong Kong beaches. In what some refer to as a trash ‘tsunami,’ Hong Kong beaches have seen an estimated six to 10 times the usual amount of trash recently. And most of that garbage is plastic that won’t easily decompose.

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Stunning Plastic Bag Landscapes Will Make You Think Twice About Tossing Your Trash

July 12th, 2016

Photographer Vilde Rolfsen thinks political art is more important than ever. Vilde Rolfsen’s photos ― which resemble aerial shots of mountain ranges ― aren’t showing nature at all. Just the opposite: Her series “Plastic Bag Landscapes” catalogs waste that she found in the street.

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