marine plastic pollution

washingtonpost.com
France becomes the first country to ban plastic plates and cutlery
The ban, to take effect in 2020, is part of a program aimed at making France a model for reducing environmental waste.

Another great step in the right direction to reduce single-use plastics and plastic pollution in the ocean!

For every pound of tuna we fish from of the ocean, we are now putting back two pounds of plastic. This is a transfer ratio that we cannot continue to sustain.
—  UCSB marine scientist Douglas McCauley
dailymail.co.uk
Arctic seas called 'dead end' for plastic floating from U.S., Europe
On top of the danger of wildlife wallowing the plastic, the material contains toxic chemicals that leak into the ocean, a new report led by the University of Cadiz in Spain found.

This is not new news but should be shared as a reminder that something needs to be done.

youtube

Yes yes yes! What a wonderful idea! A 100% biodegradable six-pack ring, plastic-free and made of barley and wheat leftover from the brewing process. 

We need every beer company to support and switch to these edible six pack rings! In the meantime and if you must purchase a six-pack with plastic rings, don’t forget to cut it up before you throw it out, That way, if it accidentally ends up in the water, no animals will get entangled in the rings. 

Sadly, more often than not, our fun and photography dives turn into clean up dives.

This could’ve been easily recycled. We can all do our part, and we can all educate others to do theirs too!

theguardian.com
We could end up with 'as much plastic in our oceans as fish'

The head of Ocean Conservancy says a burgeoning middle class and low recycling rates could lead to not-even-remotely-acceptable levels of trash washed out to sea.

Yikes! How scary is that? Everybody can make little changes in their daily lives to reduce the amount of plastic they use. Here are a few tips that I’ve covered on the blog:

- What YOU can do to reduce the use of plastic, and that includes recycling, bringing reusable totes and produce bags to the store, drinking from a reusable water bottle, and participate in beach clean-ups!

- Avoid purchasing products that contain microplastics. Microplastic particles and microbeads are most often made of Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and Nylon. PE and PP are the most common found in cosmetics and bath products.

- Avoid releasing plastic balloons and lanterns

- Feature on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and what is being done about it

vimeo

This is outside Nesoddtagen in the Oslofjord in Norway.

Over 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. That is 15 tons every minute, 365 days a year. Estimates calculate that over 70% of this garbage ends up on the ocean floor. 

How does the ocean floor look like at your local area? 

theguardian.com
Gibraltar ends annual balloon release on environmental grounds
British overseas territory stops 24-year national day tradition because of threat to marine life.
By Kylie Noble

This is fantastic news! Gibraltar’s balloon release on its national day was one of the biggest of its kind in the world, and it has now ended after 24 years after campaigners warned of the impact on marine life.

See an old blog post of mine on the topic: Thinking of releasing balloons and lanterns? Think twice!

Balloons usually slowly deflate overtime, and end up getting stuck on trees, bushes, or floating in the middle of the oceans. Many terrestrial and marine species, such as turtles, dolphins, or birds have been hurt or killed by balloons. If ingested, a balloon will block the digestive tract of the animal, thus letting them starve to death. Other animals may become entangled in the ribbon or the ballon, impeding their movements or causing them to choke.

Balloon pollution is completely avoidable, and there are many environment-friendly alternatives available.

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Crinoids, sea star, snails and a bony fish surrounding and living in a ghost nets,  recorded in 2012 Off Ozuchi, in Japan, at 493 m depth.

Derelict fishing gear, sometimes referred to as “ghost gear” or “ghost nets” is any discarded, lost, or abandoned, fishing gear in the environment. This gear continues to fish and trap animals, entangle and potentially kill marine life, smother habitat, and act as a hazard to navigation. 

Derelict fishing gear, such as nets or traps and pots, is one of the main types of debris impacting the marine environment today.

  • video: ID HPD1384C1HDB2026_01494500_01511400/ JAMSTEC

Examples of marine debris observed on Davidson Seamount, off the coast of Central California:

(a.) a plastic bag on top of a sponge limits the ability of the sponge to filter food from the water 

(b.) an Olympia beer can was found at 8,589 feet

(c.) a Coca-Cola bottle, that originated in South Korea, was likely lost off an oil tanker or container ship

(d.) a communications cable, of unknown origin, is visible in the lower part of this image. 

  • Credit: NOAA/MBARI (copied from DeVogelaere et al. 2014) 

Survey finds as many as 13 million tons of plastic pollute oceans

NBC News:  As much as 13 million tons of plastic flow into the sea every year, according to a survey being published in the journal Science. China is the biggest plastic polluter among 192 coastal countries surveyed.

Photo: Marine debris and plastic pollution are scattered across Haiti’s coastline. (Timothy Townsend)