Plastic Pollution

Photo: Manan Vastsyayana Photo: Manan Vastsyayana

Unprecedented Plastic Pollution
When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide

By Claire Le Guern

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

Turning plastic trash into high-quality liquid products

News, Pollution
Oct
23

Researchers have developed a new catalyst that can cleave plastic’s strong carbon-carbon, converting it into higher value products.

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Brazilians rally to clean beaches amid outrage at Bolsonaro’s oil spill inaction

News, Pollution
Oct
22

Nobody knows where the oil is from or why it keeps washing up on Brazilian beaches. “People in the north-east are cleaning the oil from the coast with their own hands while the federal government is immobile…”

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Wahala: trouble in the Niger delta – photo essay

Inform, Pollution
Oct
18

Covering 70,000 sq km (27,000 sq miles) of wetlands, the Niger delta used to be an incredibly rich ecosystem that contained one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet before the oil industry moved to the area.

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Scientists rush to rescue sea turtles threatened by mysterious Brazil oil spill

Crude oil has been washing up along a 1,200-mile stretch of coastline of the Brazilian northeast for over a month, leaving more than 150 of Brazil’s postcard-perfect beaches covered in thick, sludgy black patches. It is also along this coastline that olive ridley and loggerhead sea turtles come to make their nests and lay their eggs.

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Melting ice redraws the World map and starts a power struggle

The Arctic is emerging as a potential geopolitical flashpoint for the U.S., Russia and China as shipping routes get unblocked.

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Mysterious Oil Spill Becomes New Environmental Crisis for Brazil

News, Pollution
Oct
9

A mysterious oil spill that has polluted shores along a vast area of Brazil’s northeast may have resulted from unspecified criminal activity. An estimated 100 tons of crude has drifted toward land since early September, polluting some of the country’s most pristine beaches.

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The biggest source of microplastics in California coastal waters? Car tires

News, Pollution
Oct
5

According to a study from the San Francisco Bay Microplastics Project, the biggest source of microplastic pollution in California’s coastal waters may come from car tires.

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Ocean cleanup device successfully collects plastic for first time

News, Pollution
Oct
3

A huge floating device designed by Dutch scientists to clean up an island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of France has successfully picked up plastic from the high seas for the first time.

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Microplastics in the Great Lakes: Becoming benthic

Inform, Pollution
Sep
23

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.

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Recent / Pollution

Turning plastic trash into high-quality liquid products

October 23rd, 2019

Researchers have developed a new catalyst that can cleave plastic’s strong carbon-carbon, converting it into higher value products.

Read More

Brazilians rally to clean beaches amid outrage at Bolsonaro’s oil spill inaction

October 22nd, 2019

Nobody knows where the oil is from or why it keeps washing up on Brazilian beaches. “People in the north-east are cleaning the oil from the coast with their own hands while the federal government is immobile…”

Read More

Wahala: trouble in the Niger delta – photo essay

October 18th, 2019

Covering 70,000 sq km (27,000 sq miles) of wetlands, the Niger delta used to be an incredibly rich ecosystem that contained one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet before the oil industry moved to the area.

Read More

Scientists rush to rescue sea turtles threatened by mysterious Brazil oil spill

October 15th, 2019

Crude oil has been washing up along a 1,200-mile stretch of coastline of the Brazilian northeast for over a month, leaving more than 150 of Brazil’s postcard-perfect beaches covered in thick, sludgy black patches. It is also along this coastline that olive ridley and loggerhead sea turtles come to make their nests and lay their eggs.

Read More

Melting ice redraws the World map and starts a power struggle

October 12th, 2019

The Arctic is emerging as a potential geopolitical flashpoint for the U.S., Russia and China as shipping routes get unblocked.

Read More

Mysterious Oil Spill Becomes New Environmental Crisis for Brazil

October 9th, 2019

A mysterious oil spill that has polluted shores along a vast area of Brazil’s northeast may have resulted from unspecified criminal activity. An estimated 100 tons of crude has drifted toward land since early September, polluting some of the country’s most pristine beaches.

Read More

The biggest source of microplastics in California coastal waters? Car tires

October 5th, 2019

According to a study from the San Francisco Bay Microplastics Project, the biggest source of microplastic pollution in California’s coastal waters may come from car tires.

Read More

Ocean cleanup device successfully collects plastic for first time

October 3rd, 2019

A huge floating device designed by Dutch scientists to clean up an island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of France has successfully picked up plastic from the high seas for the first time.

Read More

Microplastics in the Great Lakes: Becoming benthic

September 23rd, 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.

Read More

‘It can kill you in seconds’: the deadly algae on Brittany’s beaches

September 22nd, 2019

For decades, potentially lethal green algae have amassed in shallow bays on Brittany’s beautiful north-western coast. Environmentalists say the blossoming of unusually large amounts of green algae are linked to nitrates in fertilisers and waste from the region’s intensive pig, poultry and dairy farming.

Read More