Category Archives: Pollution

Excavation to begin on next phase of Summerland oil well cleanup


Capping of the Becker well, February 27, 2018, Summerland beach, California. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

During the week of February 10, 2019, exploratory excavation work will begin on oil wells leaking onto Summerland Beach, as part of the planning for capping up to three more wells on and off the beach – including the notorious Treadwell #10 offshore well (pictured above). The actual capping work will take place during the months of June/July 2020…

Read Full Article; EdHat (01-31-2020)

Becker well capped—a century later; Coastal View (02-28-2018)

U.S. companies use misleading “recyclable” labels on hundreds of plastic products

andaman-south-sentinel
Although inhabited and remote, South Sentinel island is covered with marine debris, mostly plastic. South Sentinel, Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal. Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Greenpeace USA released the results of a comprehensive survey of the nation’s 367 material recovery facilities (MRFs) today, revealing that only PET #1 and HDPE #2 plastic bottles and jugs may legitimately be labeled as recyclable by consumer goods companies and retailers. The survey found that common plastic pollution items, including plastic tubs, cups, lids, plates, and trays, may not be labeled as recyclable according to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements for products and labeling. Additionally, many full body shrink sleeves that are added to PET #1 and HDPE #2 bottles and jugs make those products non-recyclable as well.

“This survey confirms what many news reports have indicated since China restricted plastic waste imports two years ago — that recycling facilities across the country are not able to sort, sell, and reprocess much of the plastic that companies produce,” said Jan Dell, independent engineer and founder of The Last Beach Cleanup, who led the survey of plastics acceptance policies at the 367 MRFs.

Greenpeace has identified numerous examples of U.S. companies using misleading labels. Target, Nestlé, Danone, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Aldi, SC Johnson, and Unilever are among the companies that Greenpeace has asked to correct their labels, and some changes are underway. If companies show no willingness to end this deception, the organization plans to file formal FTC complaints…

Read Full Article; Greenpeace (02-18-2020)

America’s ‘recycled’ plastic waste is clogging landfills, survey finds; Guardian UK (02-18-2020)
Many plastic items that Americans put in their recycling bins aren’t being recycled at all, according to a major new survey of hundreds of recycling facilities across the US…

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

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…

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.

What are businesses doing to turn off the plastic tap? UNEP (06-28-2018)

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…

Over 180 countries -not including the US– agree to restrict global plastic waste trade; CNN (05-11-2019)
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…

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…

India and Norway team up to fight plastic pollution


“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…”
Photo and captions source: © SAF — Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

India and Norway have joined forces to investigate the possibility of establishing a global agreement to fight plastic pollution.

They emphasised a shared understanding of the global and urgent nature of marine plastic litter and microplastics and underlined the issue cannot be solved by any one country alone…

Read Full Article; Energy Live News (02-17-2020)

When beaches are trashed, who pays the price?


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

By NOAA;

If you arrived at your dream beach only to find it littered with plastic and other rubbish, would you stay and play — or be on your way?

A recent NOAA-funded study found that when the amount of marine debris normally on beaches is doubled, coastal economies could experience a substantial negative impact due to a decrease in beach visits and loss of economic activity in those communities.

For example: The largest potential economic loss was calculated for Orange County, California, where a doubling of the typical amount of debris was estimated to cause a $414 million decrease in local tourism-related spending and a loss of nearly 4,300 jobs.

Conversely, along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline, a reduction of marine debris to near zero was estimated to add $217 million in local, tourism-related spending and more than 3,700 jobs.

The outcomes from this study further our understanding of how marine debris can affect the financial health of coastal communities that depend on beach recreation. Preventing marine debris before it enters our ocean, Great Lakes and waterways, can protect and help sustain a thriving coastal tourism economy.

To learn more, see our Story Mapoffsite link and NOAA’s Marine Debris Program website.

Original Article And Lean More; NOAA (09-26-2019)

The toxic reach of Deepwater Horizon’s oil spill was much larger — and deadlier — than previous estimates

Oil Dispersant
An aircraft releases chemical dispersant over an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Captions and Photo source: NOAA /US Coast Guards

Excerpts;

The spread of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was far worse than previously believed, new research has found.

As the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history approaches its 10th anniversary in April, a study by two University of Miami researchers shows that a significant amount of oil and its toxic footprint moved beyond fishery closures where it was thought to be contained and escaped detection by satellites as it flowed near the Texas shore, west Florida shore and within a loop current that carries Gulf water around Florida’s southern tip up toward Miami.

Read Full Article; The Washington Post (02-12-2020)

Bainbridge asks state agencies to follow up on permit for sand mining on Triangle Property


As many as five sand mines operated along the shoreline of the Monterey bay, CA, throughout the last century, scraping sand directly off of the beach. CEMEX extracted about 200,000 yds3 of sand from this back beach pond every year. Captions and Photograph courtesy of: © Gary Griggs

Excerpts;

Neighbors to the mining site known as the “Triangle Property,” on Bainbridge Island, WA, have been concerned that the sand-mining operation has been out of compliance with a permit issued by the DNR in 2009…

Read Full Article, Bainbridge Review (02-07-2020)

Triangle trouble: Neighbors worry Bainbridge sand mine endangers their water; Kitsap Sun (01-25-2020)

Demand for sand: the largest mining industry no one talks about; Inhabitat (05-23-2019)
The world’s largest and perhaps most destructive mining industry is rarely discussed. Approximately 85 percent of all material mined from the earth is a simple and widely available resource: sand. Because it is so cheap and readily available, it is mined by everyone from guy with a shovel, to multi-million dollar machine operations.

Corporate Sand Mining In SF Bay Sparks ‘Sand Wars’; CBS Bay Area (11-13-2018)
Six years ago, nonprofit environmental advocacy organization San Francisco Baykeeper sued sand-mining firm Hanson Marine Operations and the State Lands Commission to stop sand mining in the Bay. However, in November, an appeals court judge sided with the State Lands Commission and the sand mining company…

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about Sand Mining: “Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks.”
“Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013 in its french version: “Le Sable: enquête sur une disparition”, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
“Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource…”— Denis Delestrac (©-2013).

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry – The Great Plastic Tide; By Claire Le Guern


Plastic pollution. 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 ©

In celebration of Coastal Care’s 10 years Anniversary, we are republishing an acclaimed selection of the most popular Featured Articles contributions.

Excerpts;

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 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…

Read Full Article, By Claire Le Guern (Republished on 01-31-2020)