Tag Archives: Plastic Pollution

Meet the man who swam through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
— Claire Le Guern, author of “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide” ©.

Excerpts;

Ben Lecomte, a long-distance swimmer, swam the Great Pacific Garbage Patch from Hawaii to California to draw attention to plastic pollution. This is his Call to Earth…

Read Full Article; CNN (12-11-2019)

Plastic Pollution: “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” Coastal Care
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…

Why do ocean animals eat plastic?


Polar bear chewing on a plastic bag, Kaktovik, AK on the Arctic Ocean. Photo source: ©© Anita Ritenour.
“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death.” — Claire Le Guern, author of “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide” ©.

Excerpts;

Why would an apex ocean predator eat gloves? Or rope? Or plastic cups? How does a whale end up with more than 200 pounds of waste in its stomach?

Conventional wisdom suggests that animals eat plastic because it’s there and they don’t know any better (to some animals, like anchovies, plastic may smell like food). But that doesn’t explain why only certain types of whales—deep-diving toothed whales, such as sperm whales, pilot whales, and beaked whales—turn up dead on beaches with stomachs full of plastic…

Read Full Article; National Geographic – MSN (12-05-2019)

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics; Duke University (10-24-2017)

Beached sperm whale found with 220 pounds of trash in his stomach; CBS News (12-03-2019)

Kenya: Marine debris threaten to suffocate sea animals; The Star Kenya (01-24-2017)
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.

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures; Guardian UK (11-15-2017)
The study, led by academics at Newcastle University, found animals from trenches across the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes…

60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic, EcoWatch (05-031-2016)

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Independent UK (03-24-2011)

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)
By 2050, nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. Already, 9 out of 10 of the birds have some of the substance in their digestive tracts. Such are the sobering conclusions of a study published August 31 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic; Science Daily (02-27-2015)
Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs…

Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study; Guardian UK (02-05-2018)
Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests…

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
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…

Brain damage in fish from plastic nanoparticles in water, Science Daily (09-25-2017)
A new study shows that plastic particles in water may end up inside fish brains. The plastic can cause brain damage, which is the likely cause of behavioral disorders observed in the fish…

How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected; Science Daily (10-23-2018)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
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…

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry, The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

Beached sperm whale found with 220 pounds of trash in his stomach


Photo courtesy of Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker: © Denis Delestrac
“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death.” — Claire Le Guern, author of “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide” ©.

Excerpts;

A sperm whale that washed up on a beach was found with 220 pounds of plastic trash in his stomach. The whale beached itself and died on a northern Scottish island last Thursday, according to local researchers, who found the carcass several days later…

Read Full Article; CBS News (12-03-2019)

Pregnant whale washed up in Italian tourist spot had 22 kilograms of plastic in its stomach; CNN (04-01-2019)

Dead whale found with 40 kilograms of plastic bags in its stomach; CNN (03-18-2019)
A young whale whose carcass washed up in the Philippines died of “dehydration and starvation” after consuming 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plastic bags, scientists have found….

Whale found In Thailand dies from eating over 80 plastic bags; Huffington Green (06-03-2018)

Whale found dying off coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags in its stomach; Telegraph UK (02-03-2017)

Kenya: Marine debris threaten to suffocate sea animals; The Star Kenya (01-24-2017)
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.

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures; Guardian UK (11-15-2017)
The study, led by academics at Newcastle University, found animals from trenches across the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes…

60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic, EcoWatch (05-031-2016)

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Independent UK (03-24-2011)

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)
By 2050, nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. Already, 9 out of 10 of the birds have some of the substance in their digestive tracts. Such are the sobering conclusions of a study published August 31 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic; Science Daily (02-27-2015)
Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs…

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics; Duke University (10-24-2017)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
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…

Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study; Guardian UK (02-05-2018)
Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests…

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
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…

Brain damage in fish from plastic nanoparticles in water, Science Daily (09-25-2017)
A new study shows that plastic particles in water may end up inside fish brains. The plastic can cause brain damage, which is the likely cause of behavioral disorders observed in the fish…

How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected; Science Daily (10-23-2018)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
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…

Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic; CBS News (08-05-2018)
Piece by piece, an environmental threat is piling up, and we’re ALL to blame. Worse yet, even those of us trying to bring an end to the problem may not be doing as much good as we think…

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)
Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem…

More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution; Scientific American (07-06-2018)

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

Biodegradable plastic ‘false solution’ for ocean waste problem; Guardian UK (05-23-2016)

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry, The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

Bacterial communities ‘hitchhiking’ on marine plastic trash


“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Millions of tons of plastic trash are fouling the world’s ocean, most of it tiny pieces of microplastic less than a quarter-inch in size. Even the smallest marine animals can ingest these microplastics, potentially threatening their survival.

Marine microplastics aren’t floating solo, either — they quickly pick up a thin coating of bacteria and other microbes, a biofilm known as “The Plastisphere.”

Using an innovative microscopy method, scientists have revealed the structure of the microbial communities coating microplastic trash collected from a variety of ocean sites…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (12-02-2019)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
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…

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

The sun can help break down ocean plastic, but there’s a catch


This Rainbow Runner had consumed 17 plastic fragments. Photo source: EHP -©5 Gyres
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
© SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A recent study in the Journal of Hazardous Materials found that when four different types of post-consumer microplastics collected from the waters of the North Pacific Gyre were placed under a solar simulator, they dissolved into organic carbon.

This dissolved organic carbon was then, for the most part, munched up by marine bacteria in the water, which then likely converting it to carbon dioxide…

Read Full Article; PoPSci (11-18-2019)

Plastic Pollution: “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” Coastal Care
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…

We’re recycling but garbage keeps piling up: What you may not know about the recycling industry


Bali, Kuta beach. Photo courtesy of: © Claude Graves.
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…” —Coastal Care ©

Excerpts;

Recycling is a market-driven industry.

Recycling grew from just 6% of the waste stream in the 1960s to 35% in 2017, according to the EPA. The EPA touts the benefits of recycling including reducing waste, conserving energy as well as creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. But if there is no market for the recyclable goods, then those materials go to landfills.

In January 2018, global markets and commodity pricing of all scrap materials were severely disrupted by China’s National Sword policy, which banned plastics and other material from entering the country. Up until then, China had been the world’s main importer of global waste for nearly 30 years…

Read Full Article; ABC News (11-17-2019)

Is This the End of Recycling? The Atlantic (03-05-2019)
Americans are consuming more and more stuff. Now that other countries won’t take our papers and plastics, they’re ending up in the trash…

More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution; Scientific American (07-06-2018)
Encouraging individuals to recycle more will never solve the problem of a massive production of single-use plastic that should have been avoided in the first place…

Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest? Guardian UK (02-22-2017)
Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world’s oceans. Now, an organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor that could operate on land or at sea…

Scientists calculate impact of China’s ban on plastic waste imports; Science Daily (06-20-2018)
Scientists have calculated the potential global impact of China’s ban on plastic waste imports and how this policy might affect efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the world’s landfills and natural environment…

With China’s Ban on Waste Imports, Europe Announces New Recycling Initiatives; Yale E360 (01-16-2018)
In the wake of China’s ban on the import of foreign garbage, which took effect earlier this month, countries across the globe are scrambling to figure out what to do with the thousands of tons of trash piling up at their ports. Now, Europe has announced it is launching an aggressive new recycling initiative to reduce plastic waste and garbage exports…

Ocean Oddities: Pacific’s Plastic Island; Surfline (06-06-2017)
Ever since people invented trash, the sea has served as our favorite dump…

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

Biodegradable plastic ‘false solution’ for ocean waste problem; Guardian UK (05-23-2016)

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
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…

He’s doing the ‘dirty work’ to keep plastic out of the ocean


“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Afroz Shah, a lawyer in Mumbai, hasn’t had a weekend off in four years. But he hasn’t spent this time writing briefs or preparing for court.

His mission? Saving the world’s oceans from plastic pollution…

Read Full Article; CNN (11-17-2019)

This Mumbai lawyer inspired a massive beach cleanup; PRI (11-14-2017)
Since Oct. 2015, Afroz Shah, a constitutional lawyer and a full time “ocean lover and a beach cleaner,” has been clearing trash for four hours every weekend in what the United Nations has called the world’s biggest beach clean up ever. His efforts have inspired others…

Homeless man cleans up beaches every day, Cape Town; Metro (03-15-2016)
The man is called Dan. He’s 28 and homeless, and he grew up on the Eastern Cape. Every day, he cleans the beaches for no other reason than to ‘make the place nice’ because he’s ’embarrassed about the pollution…’

Collecting plastic waste near coasts ‘is most effective clean-up method’, Guardian UK (01-19-2016)

To clean up ocean plastics, increase focus on coasts, Science Daily (01-19-2016)
The most efficient way to clean up ocean plastics and avoid harming ecosystems is to place plastic collectors near coasts, according to a new study…

Loving the Ocean Starts at Home, National Geographic (09-08-2016)

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

Newly identified fish nurseries are choked with plastic


“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death. Indeed, it is found that debris often accumulates in the animals’ gut and give a false sense of fullness, causing the animal to stop eating and slowly starve to death.” —Captions and Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A new study reveals that it’s not just adult sea animals that are getting a gullet full of plastic. Larval fish are inundated with plastic fragments in their nursery habitats and they’re eating those pieces along with their natural food sources, according to the paper published in the journal PNAS…

Read Full Article; Smithsonian Magazine (11-12-2019)

Bird chick clip on BBC One’s Drowning in Plastic documentary leaved viewers in tears; Country Living (10-02-2018)

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures; Guardian UK (11-15-2017)
The study, led by academics at Newcastle University, found animals from trenches across the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes…

60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic, EcoWatch (05-031-2016)

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Independent UK (03-24-2011)

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)
By 2050, nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. Already, 9 out of 10 of the birds have some of the substance in their digestive tracts. Such are the sobering conclusions of a study published August 31 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic; Science Daily (02-27-2015)
Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs…

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics; Duke University (10-24-2017)

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
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…

Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists; Guardian UK (03-12-2018)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
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…

Plastic Pollution: “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” Coastal Care
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…

Microplastics “washing right out into the ocean,” marine biologists say


White stripes of decomposed styrofoam on the beach.
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Signs of climate change are everywhere, but sometimes those signs are very hard to see. Tiny, nearly invisible pieces of plastic called microplastics are making their way through our ecosystem. The results could be devastating…

Read Full Article; CBS News (11-08-2019)

Four billion particles of microplastics discovered in major body of water; Science Daily (09-12-2019)
While collecting water samples and plankton, researchers discovered a high concentration of microplastics, which are known to disrupt the marine food chain…

Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters; The New York Times (04-19-2017)

People may be breathing in microplastics, health expert warns; Guardian UK (05-10-2016)
People could be breathing in microparticles of plastic, according to a leading environmental health expert, with as yet unknown consequences on health…

Americans Consume Tens of Thousands of Microplastic Particles Every Year; Yale E360 (06-05-2019)
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. Scientists warn that while the health impacts of ingesting these tiny particles are largely unknown, there is potential for the plastic to enter human tissues and cause an immune response, as well as release toxic chemicals into the body…

Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show; Guardian UK (09-08-2017)
New studies find microplastics in salt from the US, Europe and China, adding to evidence that plastic pollution is pervasive in the environment…

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
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…

Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists; Guardian UK (03-12-2018)

Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain; NPR (06-06-2019)

Microplastics in the Great Lakes: Becoming benthic; Science Daily (09-23-2019)
From the Great Pacific garbage patch to inland rivers, plastics are among the most widespread contaminants on Earth. Microplastics — particles of plastic smaller than five millimeters — are especially pervasive. As they build up in Earth’s waters, microplastics are also becoming a permanent part of the planet’s sedimentary layers…

Microplastics pollute most remote and uncharted areas of the ocean; Guardian UK (02-12-2018)
First data ever gathered from extremely remote area of the South Indian Ocean has a surprisingly high volume of plastic particles, say scientists. Currently scientists can only account for 1% of the plastic they think is in the ocean…

The biggest source of microplastics in California coastal waters? Car tires; CNN (10-05-2019)

Plastic Pollution: “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” Coastal Care
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…