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

It’s raining plastic: microscopic fibers fall from the sky in Rocky Mountains

News, Pollution
Aug
14

Discovery raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth

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More than half of U.S. beaches have fecal bacteria, environmentalists say

News, Pollution
Aug
9

Half the beaches in the U.S. have at least one day per summer season in which it’s not safe to swim because of elevated bacteria levels in the water, according to new report.

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Disposable plastic water bottles banned from San Francisco airport

News, Pollution
Aug
8

In an effort to make SFO more environmentally friendly, the airport is adding plastic water bottles to its list of restricted food service items starting August 20. The airport, just south of San Francisco, set a goal three years ago of becoming the world’s first zero-waste airport by 2021.

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This Irish teenager may have a solution for a plastic-free ocean

News, Pollution
Aug
2

A teenager from Ireland may have found a way to rescue our oceans from the growing plastic pollution problem.

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Non-lethal impacts of seabirds’ plastic ingestion

News, Pollution
Jul
30

A new study of seabirds that had ingested plastic debris has revealed a range of non-lethal impacts on their health and physiology. While seabird deaths due to swallowing plastic debris or becoming entangled in it have received global attention, the non-lethal effects on seabirds that survive plastic ingestion are less well-known.

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Sun, Sand And Sewage: Report Shows Many U.S. Beaches Unsafe For Swimming

News, Pollution
Jul
23

A new analysis details widespread bacterial contamination at U.S. beaches, with more than half of the tested sites exceeding a federal safety threshold at least once in 2018. Nearly 60% of the more than 4,500 beaches sampled in 2018 had at least one day of unsafe bacteria levels.

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Thirty years of unique data reveal what’s really killing coral reefs

Coral bleaching is not just due to a warming planet, but also a planet that is simultaneously being enriched with reactive nitrogen from sources like improperly treated sewage, and fertilizers.

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Flesh-eating bacteria kills a Memphis man who visited Florida waterways

News, Pollution
Jul
13

A Tennessee man died Sunday after he became infected with Vibrio vulnificus, a type of flesh-eating bacteria, while vacationing in Okaloosa County, Florida. Vibrio causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States every year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government’s public health agency.

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Plastic bans proliferate in 2019 as planet drowns in trash

News, Pollution
Jun
29

As the world slowly wakes up to the scale of the plastic pollution problem, an increasing number of countries and cities are introducing bans on certain products. Not only can they help to prevent plastics from entering marine ecosystems, but they’re also addressing the myth that we can recycle our way out of the problem.

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Recent / Pollution

It’s raining plastic: microscopic fibers fall from the sky in Rocky Mountains

August 14th, 2019

Discovery raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth

Read More

More than half of U.S. beaches have fecal bacteria, environmentalists say

August 9th, 2019

Half the beaches in the U.S. have at least one day per summer season in which it’s not safe to swim because of elevated bacteria levels in the water, according to new report.

Read More

Disposable plastic water bottles banned from San Francisco airport

August 8th, 2019

In an effort to make SFO more environmentally friendly, the airport is adding plastic water bottles to its list of restricted food service items starting August 20. The airport, just south of San Francisco, set a goal three years ago of becoming the world’s first zero-waste airport by 2021.

Read More

This Irish teenager may have a solution for a plastic-free ocean

August 2nd, 2019

A teenager from Ireland may have found a way to rescue our oceans from the growing plastic pollution problem.

Read More

Non-lethal impacts of seabirds’ plastic ingestion

July 30th, 2019

A new study of seabirds that had ingested plastic debris has revealed a range of non-lethal impacts on their health and physiology. While seabird deaths due to swallowing plastic debris or becoming entangled in it have received global attention, the non-lethal effects on seabirds that survive plastic ingestion are less well-known.

Read More

Sun, Sand And Sewage: Report Shows Many U.S. Beaches Unsafe For Swimming

July 23rd, 2019

A new analysis details widespread bacterial contamination at U.S. beaches, with more than half of the tested sites exceeding a federal safety threshold at least once in 2018. Nearly 60% of the more than 4,500 beaches sampled in 2018 had at least one day of unsafe bacteria levels.

Read More

Thirty years of unique data reveal what’s really killing coral reefs

July 15th, 2019

Coral bleaching is not just due to a warming planet, but also a planet that is simultaneously being enriched with reactive nitrogen from sources like improperly treated sewage, and fertilizers.

Read More

Flesh-eating bacteria kills a Memphis man who visited Florida waterways

July 13th, 2019

A Tennessee man died Sunday after he became infected with Vibrio vulnificus, a type of flesh-eating bacteria, while vacationing in Okaloosa County, Florida. Vibrio causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States every year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government’s public health agency.

Read More

Plastic bans proliferate in 2019 as planet drowns in trash

June 29th, 2019

As the world slowly wakes up to the scale of the plastic pollution problem, an increasing number of countries and cities are introducing bans on certain products. Not only can they help to prevent plastics from entering marine ecosystems, but they’re also addressing the myth that we can recycle our way out of the problem.

Read More

Great Pacific garbage patch: giant plastic trap put to sea again

June 23rd, 2019

Floating boom is designed to trap 1.8tn items of plastic without harming marine life – but broke apart last time

Read More