A high-altitude clean-up in Bolivia’s Valley of the Souls

via Reuters

In Bolivia’s Valley of the Souls, razor sharp rock formations pierce the blue sky above the nearby highland city of La Paz, from where urban sprawl over years has left the picturesque spot littered with plastic waste and construction rubble.

Now the rocky canyon is getting a clean up amid a wider push to spruce up the South American country’s scenic spots and waterways, with hundreds of volunteers, aided by heavy machinery, shifting over 15 tons of debris in the last week.

Read the full story here: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/high-altitude-clean-up-bolivias-valley-souls-2021-05-04/

Covid-19: the plastic pandemic

via Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa 

Lowered on the chin or worn correctly, generously distributed in schools and workplaces, sold everywhere at a controlled price, face masks are now a constant presence in the lives of billions of people. A gust of wind or a distraction is enough for them to disperse in the environment, and already in the first months of the pandemic, when for many they were still unavailable, they had become fairly common waste on the beaches of all oceans.

But protective gear – not just masks, but also gloves, aprons, visors – are just one of the factors that have led plastic consumption to skyrocket in times of pandemic.

Read the full story here: https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Europe/Covid-19-the-plastic-pandemic-210266

Fighting the plastics plague, one canoe-full at a time

via the Bay Journal

John Naylor eased his 16-foot fiberglass canoe into the Susquehanna River near a small archipelago of forested and ever-changing mudflat islands known as the Conejohela Flats, once the domain of Native Americans and still a vital stop for migrating shorebirds.

It’s a placid and beautiful spot on the lower Susquehanna between Lancaster and York counties, PA. But the York city resident was there this day to nibble at a growing sheen of ugliness — namely, single-use plastic containers, especially discarded water bottles.

Read the full story here: https://www.bayjournal.com/news/people/fighting-the-plastics-plague-one-canoe-full-at-a-time/article_de8ac85a-6a49-11eb-9dbc-cf4d24cc71ee.html

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé named top plastic polluters for third year in a row

via The Guardian

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé have been accused of “zero progress” on reducing plastic waste, after being named the world’s top plastic polluters for the third year in a row.

Coca-Cola was ranked the world’s No 1 plastic polluter by Break Free From Plastic in its annual audit, after its beverage bottles were the most frequently found discarded on beaches, rivers, parks and other litter sites in 51 of 55 nations surveyed. Last year it was the most frequently littered bottle in 37 countries, out of 51 surveyed.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/07/coca-cola-pepsi-and-nestle-named-top-plastic-polluters-for-third-year-in-a-row

Java’s protective mangroves smothered by plastic waste

via Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

The mangrove forests on Java’s north coast are slowly suffocating in plastic waste. The plastic problem in northeast Asia is huge and a growing threat to the region’s mangroves; a natural ally against coastal erosion. Based on fieldwork published in Science of the Total Environment, NIOZ researcher Celine van Bijsterveldt shows that restoration of this green protection belt is impossible without better waste management.

Read the full story here: https://www.nioz.nl/en/news/javas-protective-mangroves-smothered-by-plastic-waste

E-cigarettes highlight the challenges of dealing with plastic waste

Via ABC News

E-cigarettes and vapes have made the headlines amid national concerns about nicotine addiction among young people and health problems linked to black-market products. But among environmental advocates the increasingly popular products pose another challenge — how to get rid of them after they’re used.

E-cigarettes and pods for e-cigarettes or vapes can be both hazardous and electronic waste — depending on the product — and the plastic poses the same concerns as other plastic products that can add to overall waste and break down into microplastics that harm ocean ecosystems.

Read the full story here: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/cigarettes-highlight-challenges-dealing-plastic-waste/story?id=68890487

Thai Buddhist temple has recycled over 88,000 pounds of plastic into robes

via New York Post

The recycling temple of Wat Chak Daeng is one bright example of recycling for Thailand, one of five countries that account for more than half of plastic in the world’s oceans.

The monks have crushed 40 tonnes (88,185 lb) of plastic over two years since starting the program, aiming to curb plastic waste entering the Chao Phraya River, which flows south to the Gulf of Thailand in the western Pacific Ocean.

Read the full story here: https://nypost.com/2020/02/06/thai-buddhist-temple-has-recycled-over-88000-pounds-of-plastic-into-robes/

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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