Tag Archives: Plastic Pollution

How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected


“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.” Caption and Photo by: © SAF — Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

Prior research has suggested that mussels are a robust indicator of plastic debris and particles in marine environments. A new study says that’s not the case because mussels are picky eaters and have an inherent ability to choose and sort their food. Instead, the researchers have discovered that marine aggregates also called “marine snow,” play a much bigger role in the fate of the oceans when it comes to plastic debris.

More than 10 million tons of plastic debris enter the oceans every year and are found in nearly every oceanic layer. They start out as large floating items and eventually break down into much smaller pieces called microplastics. These particles are pervasive and have been found in the digestive tracts of more than 100 different species, posing physical, chemical and even potential biological harm to these animals. Mussels and other bivalves like oysters and clams are eaten whole without removal of the gastrointestinal tract and therefore represent a pathway for microplastics to enter the human food chain…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (10-23-2018)

Plastic pollution has increased a hundredfold in remote parts of the South Atlantic; Yale E360 (10-18-2018)
The amount of plastic debris in the ocean waters of the British islands in the South Atlantic — some of the most remote places on the planet — has increased hundredfold in the last 30 years, according to a new study…

Microplastics pollute most remote and uncharted areas of the ocean; Guardian UK (02-12-2018)

The Arctic is a ‘dead end’ for ocean plastic; MNN (04-24-2017)

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)

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…

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…

Plastic pollution has increased a hundredfold in remote parts of the South Atlantic


“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;

The amount of plastic debris in the ocean waters of the British islands in the South Atlantic — some of the most remote places on the planet — has increased hundredfold in the last 30 years, according to a new study in the journal Current Biology.

Today, the density of plastic near the South Atlantic islands is approaching the pollution levels along industrialized North Atlantic coasts, the study finds…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (10-18-2018)

Microplastics pollute most remote and uncharted areas of the ocean; Guardian UK (02-12-2018)

No escaping ocean plastic: 37 million bits of litter on one of world’s remotest islands, Science Daily (05-15-2017)
The beaches of one of the world’s most remote islands have been found to be polluted with the highest density of plastic debris reported anywhere on the planet, a new study shows…

The Arctic is a ‘dead end’ for ocean plastic; MNN (04-24-2017)

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…

An ocean of plastic: Magnitude of plastic waste going into the ocean calculated, UCSB Current

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)

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

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

More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, Guardian UK (01-19-2016)
One refuse truck’s-worth of plastic is dumped into the sea every minute, and the situation is getting worse, according to a new report launched at the World Economic Forum today. New plastics will consume 20% of all oil production within 35 years, up from an estimated 5% today…

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…

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic

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;

The equivalent of one truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute — but where is it all coming from? Up until recently, we weren’t sure. But to solve the plastic pollution crisis, we knew we needed to arm ourselves with the best information possible.

So, together with our partners in the Break Free From Plastic movement, we enlisted the help of 10,000 volunteers across 42 countries to embark on the world’s most ambitious plastic cleanup and brand audit project yet. 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.

They are, in order from most to least commonly found in global brand audits:

  • Coca-Cola
  • PepsiCo
  • Nestlé
  • Danone
  • Mondelez International
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Unilever
  • Perfetti van Melle
  • Mars Incorporated
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • And that’s just the top ten out of hundreds of multinational brands contributing to plastic pollution across the globe.

    Now comes the important part: we have to hold these brands accountable for their plastic pollution.

    Let’s talk about Coke. Coke-branded plastic was not only found in 40 of the 42 participating countries, it’s the only brand to rank in the top three on all six continents (just missing Antarctica, but unfortunately there’s plastic there, too). Just last week, the crew on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise even found an intact Coke bottle in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, hundreds of kilometres from any inhabited land.

    As some of the largest companies in the world, Coke, PepsiCo, Nestle, and the others on this list have the chance to be part of the solution to the plastic crisis. Instead, they remain a part of the problem, selling us plastic drink containers and packaging we have no choice but to throw away.

    Here’s how you can call out Coke and all the corporations polluting our oceans for profit.

    We all have a role to play in tackling plastic pollution. But the reality is, individual consumers are already bearing the burden of this crisis. We’re swapping plastic bottles for reusable glass and metal, ditching disposable straws, avoiding unnecessary packaging in our grocery stores, and cleaning up our beaches as best we can. But there’s only so much we can do if companies don’t step up and provide more sustainable choices.

    To solve this problem, we need to change the entire system — from how our products are made to what happens when we’re done with them. And we need corporations to be part of the solution.

    Here’s what you can do. Whenever you see a piece of plastic where it doesn’t belong, pick it up, take a photo, and share it on social media using #IsThisYours. Don’t forget to tag the brand!

    Together, we can be the generation that ends ocean plastic pollution. Don’t forget to read the full Break Free From Plastic global brand audit report for more information on the corporations contributing to ocean pollution — and what you can do about it.

    Read Full Article; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)

    The Brand Audit Report, Break Free From Plastic (2018)

This floating pipe is trying to clean up all the plastic in the ocean


Plastic pollution. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A 2,000 foot-long floating pipe nicknamed Wilson is about to start its mission to collect all the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Last month, the Ocean Cleanup foundation launched the world’s first ocean cleanup system out of San Francisco to take on the notorious “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a giant floating trash pile between San Francisco and Hawaii that is twice the size of Texas. It’s the largest of five ocean trash piles on Earth…

Read Full Article; CNN (10-11-2018)

Remember that kid who invented a way to clean up ocean plastic? He’s back, and it’s happening; MNN (09-04-2018)
Boyan Slat’s solar-powered booms will soon be in the Pacific Ocean…

Inventor tries to conquer the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”; CBS News (09-07-2018)
A ship on Saturday will start towing a long device from Northern California more than 1,000 miles out to sea to begin scooping up a massive heap of trash that’s estimated to weigh 88,000 tons. It may look like a giant pipeline, but the 2,000-foot-long contraption will soon be cleaning up what’s known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” made up of an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of floating plastic…

Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project Launches Historic First Prototype at Sea, EcoWatch (06-23-2016)
Boyan Slat’s ambitious plan to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has taken another step towards reality with its first prototype to be tested at sea. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, founded by the 21-year-old Slat, has deployed a 100-meter clean-up boom today in the North Sea in The Netherlands…

Boyan Slat to Deploy ‘Longest Floating Structure in World History’ to Clean Ocean Plastic; EcoWatch (06-03-2015)

20 Years Old Aeronautical Engineer Boyan Slat Now Has the Funds to Build His Ocean Cleanup Machine, Business Week (09-17-2014)

An ocean of plastic: Magnitude of plastic waste going into the ocean calculated, UCSB Current

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 found deep in sand where turtles nest


Plastic pollution. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

University of Exeter scientists found an average of 5,300 particles of plastic per cubic metre at depths of 60cm (2ft) on beaches in Cyprus used by green turtles and loggerheads.

“Unlike the beaches in China where the highest levels of microplastics have been recorded, these beaches in Cyprus are located far from industrial practices and aren’t visited by large numbers of people,” said Professor Brendan Godley, leader of the University of Exeter’s marine strategy.

“Therefore it seems that microplastics are arriving on ocean currents. In this case, our analysis suggests most of it came from the eastern Mediterranean basin. This is also true of the large plastic items found on the beaches in Cyprus in large numbers.”

The findings support the theory that beaches act as a “sink” for marine microplastics, becoming key areas for contamination…

Read Full Article, Phys Org (09-26-2018)

Micronizing ocean plastics threaten sea turtle populations, ocean life cycle; Science Daily (09-17-2018)
Ingestion of degrading ocean plastics likely poses a substantial risk to the survival of post-hatchling sea turtles because the particles can lead to blockages and nutritional deficiencies, according to new research…

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

Plastic Pollution / When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, 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…”

More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Just washing them can pollute the oceans.

marine-debris-orange
“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;

It’s no secret that too many of the plastic products we use end up in the ocean. But you might not be aware of one major source of that pollution: our clothes…

Read Full Article; VOX (09-21-2018)

Great Lakes Teeming With Tiny Plastic Fibers; ABC News (01-09-2015)
Scientists who have reported that the Great Lakes are awash in tiny bits of plastic are raising new alarms about a little-noticed form of the debris turning up in sampling nets: synthetic fibers from garments, cleaning cloths and other consumer products…

Accumulating Microplastic Threat to Shores, BBC (01-29-2012)
Plastic debris < 1 mm (defined here as microplastic) is accumulating in marine habitats. Ingestion of microplastic provides a potential pathway for the transfer of pollutants, monomers, and plastic-additives to organisms with uncertain consequences for their health. Here, we show that microplastic contaminates the shorelines at 18 sites worldwide representing six continents from the poles to the equator, with more material in densely populated areas...

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

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…

Plastic Pollution / The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care ©-2009.
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…

You Can Help Turn the Tide on Plastic. Here’s How.; The National Geographic (05-26-2018)
Do these six pain-free things, and you’ll help reduce the impact plastic is having on oceans and other waterways around the world…

Micronizing ocean plastics threaten sea turtle populations, ocean life cycle


“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 Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Ingestion of degrading ocean plastics likely poses a substantial risk to the survival of post-hatchling sea turtles because the particles can lead to blockages and nutritional deficiencies, according to new research from Loggerhead Marinelife Center and the University of Georgia.

This puts the survival of all sea turtle populations at risk, because sea turtles may take decades to become sexually mature. The study also suggests that micronizing plastics could have tremendous negative implications for the ocean’s food web…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (09-17-2018)

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

Marine turtles dying after becoming entangled in plastic rubbish; Science Daily (12-18-2017)

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

Sea Turtles Face Plastic Pollution Peril; University of Exeter (10-09-2015)
A new global review that set out to investigate the hazards of marine plastic pollution has warned that all seven species of marine turtles can ingest or become entangled in the discarded debris that currently litters the oceans, and nesting beaches…

Plastic Pollution / When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, 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…”

Remember that kid who invented a way to clean up ocean plastic? He’s back, and it’s happening


Plastic pollution. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Boyan Slat’s solar-powered booms will soon be in the Pacific Ocean…

Read Full Article; MNN (09-04-2018)

Inventor tries to conquer the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”; CBS News (09-07-2018)
A ship on Saturday will start towing a long device from Northern California more than 1,000 miles out to sea to begin scooping up a massive heap of trash that’s estimated to weigh 88,000 tons. It may look like a giant pipeline, but the 2,000-foot-long contraption will soon be cleaning up what’s known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” made up of an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of floating plastic…

Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project Launches Historic First Prototype at Sea, EcoWatch (06-23-2016)
Boyan Slat’s ambitious plan to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has taken another step towards reality with its first prototype to be tested at sea. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, founded by the 21-year-old Slat, has deployed a 100-meter clean-up boom today in the North Sea in The Netherlands…

Boyan Slat to Deploy ‘Longest Floating Structure in World History’ to Clean Ocean Plastic; EcoWatch (06-03-2015)

20 Years Old Aeronautical Engineer Boyan Slat Now Has the Funds to Build His Ocean Cleanup Machine, Business Week (09-17-2014)

An ocean of plastic: Magnitude of plastic waste going into the ocean calculated, UCSB Current

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…

Sea Chair, Video


The Dead Sea. 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…” — © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Since the discovery of the Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, which is predicted to measure twice the size of Texas, five more have been found across the world’s oceans with the Atlantic gyre predicted to be even larger. This plastic takes thousands of years to degrade, remaining in the environment to be broken up into ever-smaller fragments by ocean currents.

Sea Chair is made entirely from plastic recovered from our oceans. Together with local fishermen, the plastic is collected and made into a stool at sea…

View Video and Read Full Article; Studio Swine (08-28-2018)