Why 99% of ocean plastic pollution is “missing”

via Vox

Starting in the 1990s, the world’s attention began turning to the specter of ocean garbage patches — heaps of plastic and other debris that accumulate in distinct areas of the ocean, thanks to currents known as gyres. These patches came to symbolize our global addiction to plastic production and consumption.

A lot of the plastic we consume ends up in the ocean due to man-made causes, such as poor waste management practices. Some of it ends up there because of natural disasters. There’s a lot of Japanese plastic floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for example, due to the 2011 tsunami. Japan is a country that otherwise has above-average waste management policies.

Read the full story here: https://www.vox.com/videos/22406194/plastic-pollution-in-the-ocean-99-percent-missing

Seagrass ‘Neptune balls’ bundle plastic waste

via Phys.Org

Underwater seagrass in coastal areas appear to trap bits of plastic in natural bundles of fibre known as “Neptune balls,” researchers said Thursday.

With no help from humans, the swaying plants—anchored to shallow seabeds—may collect nearly 900 million plastic items in the Mediterranean alone every year, they reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

read the full story here: https://phys.org/news/2021-01-seagrass-meadows-marine-plastic-sea.html

Oceana report says Amazon has a ‘plastic problem’, pollutes oceans with 22 million pounds of plastics per year

via Fox29.com

Oceana analyzed e-commerce and packaging market data as well as a recent scientific report, published in Science about predicted growth in plastic waste and found that Amazon has a large and rapidly growing plastic pollution footprint.

“Amazon has a plastic problem,” Oceana wrote in the report released on Dec. 15. “Oceana estimates that in 2019, up to 22.44 million pounds of Amazon’s plastic packaging has ended up in the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems as pollution. This amount is roughly equivalent to a delivery van’s worth of plastic being dumped into major rivers, lakes, and the oceans every 70 minutes.”

Read the full story here: https://www.fox29.com/news/oceana-report-says-amazon-has-a-plastic-problem-pollutes-oceans-with-22-million-pounds-of-plastics-per-year

E-car ‘Luca’: horsehair seats, ocean plastics chassis

via Recycling International

Students of the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands have unveiled a car made largely from recycled materials such as PET bottles and household waste.

‘We want to show that waste is a valuable material, even in complex applications like a car,’ says team member Matthijs van Wijk. The group of 22 students has worked on the project for 18 months and the result is a sporty electric car called ‘Luca’ made from materials such as flax and recycled plastic, most of which was fished from the ocean.

Read the full story here: https://recyclinginternational.com/e-scrap/e-car-luca-horsehair-seats-ocean-plastics-chassis/31688/

Plastic trash flowing into the seas will nearly triple by 2040 without drastic action

An ambitious plan, two years in the making, might have the solution.

via National Geographic

THE AMOUNT OF plastic trash that flows into the oceans every year is expected to nearly triple by 2040 to 29 million metric tons.

That single, incomprehensibly large statistic is at the center of a new two-year research project that both illuminates the failure of the worldwide campaign to curb plastic pollution and prescribes an ambitious plan for reducing much of that flow into the seas.

Read the full story here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/07/plastic-trash-in-seas-will-nearly-triple-by-2040-if-nothing-done/

Coronavirus is causing a flurry of plastic waste. Campaigners fear it may be permanent

via CNN

Surgical masks, gloves, protective equipment, body bags — the Covid-19 crisis has spurred a rapid expansion in the production of desperately-needed plastic products, with governments racing to boost their stockpiles and regular citizens clamoring for their share of supplies.

Such production is necessary. But all that plastic ends up somewhere — and environmental campaigners fear it is just the tip of a looming iceberg, with the pandemic causing a number of serious challenges to their efforts to reduce plastic pollution.

Read the full story here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/04/world/coronavirus-plastic-waste-pollution-intl/index.html

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/

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/

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