How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

via NPR

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups.

None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried.

“To me that felt like it was a betrayal of the public trust,” she said. “I had been lying to people … unwittingly.”

Read the full story here: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled

An audio version of this story aired on NPR’s Planet Money

Oceans’ plastic tide may be far larger than thought

Artificial fibres now go everywhere. The oceans’ plastic tide may reach their whole depth, entering marine life and people.

via Eco-Business

The world’s seas could be home to a vast reservoir of hitherto unidentified pollution, the growing burden of the oceans’ plastic tide.

Up to 21 million tonnes of tiny and invisible plastic fibres could be floating in the first 200 metres of the Atlantic Ocean alone. And as British research exposed the scale of the problem, American chemists revealed that for the first time they had found microplastic fibres incorporated within human organ tissues.

Read the full story here: https://www.eco-business.com/news/oceans-plastic-tide-may-be-far-larger-than-thought/

Kauai Artists Collaborate With Nature For Marine Debris Projects

via Honolulu Civil Beat

Ghost nets and plastic fragments are becoming collectibles as artists turn the trash into works of art.

Plastic bags and straws cause countless marine fatalities as their small size, shine and color are an irresistible lure to birds, fish, and turtles. But the most lethal plastic products in the North Pacific are the fishing nets and gear purpose-built to catch and kill marine wildlife. These nets, which can stretch 6 miles in length, comprise about half of the plastic garbage in the Patch. But on Kauai, fishing nets account for almost 90% of marine debris that washes in with the tides.

Artists sensitive to this disaster have started to look at ghost nets and fragments of plastic as raw material for their creativity. Only 10% of plastic on average is recycled. This leaves a tsunami of synthetic waste to pollute our most precious natural places and resources. They hope their work can bring focus to the problem.

Read the full story here: https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/08/kauai-artists-collaborate-with-nature-for-marine-debris-projects/

Researchers uncover highest-ever amount of microplastics on ocean floor

via CBS News

Researchers have uncovered the highest-ever concentration of microplastics on the seafloor. According to a new study in the journal Science, scientists recently found 1.9 million pieces in an area of about 11 square feet in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Over 10 million tons of plastic waste enter oceans each year — but the visible floating plastic that has led to anti-straw and anti-plastic bag movements accounts for less than 1% of the ocean’s total plastic.

Read the full story here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/highest-ever-concentration-microplastic-ocean-floor-plastic-pollution/

30-year survey assesses plastic problem in the Antarctic

Via New Atlas

Two new studies by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are shedding new light on plastic waste in the Antarctic. Based on 30 years of extensive surveys of marine debris ingested by sea birds or washed up on Bird Island at South Georgia and Signy Island in the South Orkneys, researchers have been able to determine the source of plastics in the region and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts.

We like to think of Antarctica as a pristine, wild continent that’s as untouched as a fresh snowfall, but its shores are still as exposed to the ocean’s currents as anywhere else and often end up as repositories of plastic waste either brought in by waves or in the stomachs of seabirds.

Read the full story here: https://newatlas.com/environment/30-year-survey-bas-plastic-waste-antarctic/

Dumped fishing gear is biggest plastic polluter in ocean, finds report

via The Guardian

Lost and abandoned fishing gear which is deadly to marine life makes up the majority of large plastic pollution in the oceans, according to a report by Greenpeace.

More than 640,000 tonnes of nets, lines, pots and traps used in commercial fishing are dumped and discarded in the sea every year, the same weight as 55,000 double-decker buses.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/06/dumped-fishing-gear-is-biggest-plastic-polluter-in-ocean-finds-report

Washing laundry on a delicate cycle releases more plastic microfibres into the ocean

via ScienceFocus.com

Researchers have found it is the volume of water used which is the key factor in plucking the tiny plastic particles from man-made material. Read the full story here: https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/washing-laundry-on-a-delicate-cycle-releases-more-plastic-microfibres-into-the-ocean/

Marine Plastic Pollution

Naturalist Attenborough makes dire warning of plastic pollution in world’s oceans

via CNBC

U.K. naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough has warned of the dangers of plastic in the oceans after witnessing the damage it causes while filming a new wildlife series.

Attenborough said that during the recording of the BBC’s TV series “Blue Planet II” he saw countless examples of the negative effect of plastics, according to comments in the Guardian newspaper on Sunday.

Read the story here: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/16/attenborough-makes-plastic-pollution-warning-for-worlds-oceans.html

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