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

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

News, Pollution
Feb
13

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

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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Whale found dying off coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags in its stomach

News, Pollution
Feb
6

Scientists in Norway found more than 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste inside the stomach of a whale stranded off the coast.

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Increasing factory and auto emissions disrupt natural cycle in East China Sea

News, Pollution
Feb
3

China’s rapid ascent to global economic superpower is taking a toll on some of its ancient ways, patterned around the vast fisheries of the East China Sea. But now those waters are increasingly threatened by human-caused, harmful algal blooms that choke off vital fish populations.

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Substance in crude oil harms fish hearts, could affect humans as well

Exposure to oil can cause severe cardiovascular effects in fish. Experiments provide direct evidence of how phenanthrene, an oil pollutant found in water, air and soil, causes irregular heartbeat and weaker contractions of heart cells.

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Oil: Keeping Atlantic Drilling Ban Meets Climate Goals

With much of the Atlantic and Arctic waters no longer up for grabs for offshore drilling, the U.S. is on the right track to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2040.

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Kenya: Marine debris threaten to suffocate sea animals

Inform, Pollution
Jan
29

Marine researchers spotted a dolphin suffocating in a plastic bag last week in Watamu, Kenya. The incident, the first to be witnessed there, has raised concern on the safety of the millions of sea animals in the Indian Ocean waters due to the increased cases of plastic waste.

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Plastic you can drink: A solution for pollution?

News, Pollution
Jan
25

Entrepreneurs from Bali, studied the emerging field of bioplastics and devised their own recipe using cassava starch, vegetable oil, and organic resins. The resulting “100% bio-based” material was biodegradable and compostable, breaking down over a period of months on land or at sea, or instantly in hot water.

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Christmas Revelers Leave 15 Tons of Trash on Australian Beach

News, Pollution
Jan
3

Coogee beach – a popular destination in the Sydney suburb for backpackers on Christmas Day – was left strewn with a reported 15 tonnes of garbage by an estimated 10,000 resellers…

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Recent / Pollution

Christmas Revelers Leave 15 Tons of Trash on Australian Beach

January 3rd, 2017

Coogee beach – a popular destination in the Sydney suburb for backpackers on Christmas Day – was left strewn with a reported 15 tonnes of garbage by an estimated 10,000 resellers…

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New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions

December 29th, 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.

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Researchers estimate 10,000 metric tons of plastic enter Great Lakes every year

December 22nd, 2016

A new study that inventories and tracks high concentrations of plastic in the Great Lakes could help inform cleanup efforts and target pollution prevention. Researchers found that nearly 10,000 metric tons — or 22 million pounds — of plastic debris enter the Great Lakes every year from the United States and Canada.

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Exxon Mobil oil spill hits communities in southeast Nigeria

December 21st, 2016

An oil spill from Exxon Mobil Corp facilities in southeast Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom state has hit local communities, affecting farming, fishing and drinking water.

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Age-Old Problem: River in Jordan Polluted by Copper 7,000 Years Ago

December 13th, 2016

The first river polluted by humanity may have been discovered in the Wadi Faynan region of southern Jordan, contaminated by copper about 7,000 years ago, a new study finds.

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‘This is a 4-alarm fire’: Environmentalists to campaign against Trump’s EPA pick

December 8th, 2016

Environmental advocates say they are shocked and worried after Donald Trump announced Thursday that he had selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has denied mainstream climate science, to administer his Environmental Protection Agency.

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All Human-Made Objects on Earth Amount to 30 Trillion Tons

December 5th, 2016

Scientists recently discovered that all objects on Earth created by people adds up to an astoundingly large figure. All of these objects are collectively known as Earth’s “technosphere.” Distributed evenly over the planet’s surface, the technosphere would translate into about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) for every 11 square feet (1 square meter).

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The victory at Standing Rock could mark a turning point

December 4th, 2016

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’

December 2nd, 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.”

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

December 1st, 2016

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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