plastic pollution

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!

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
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. 

5 things you didn’t know about…microbeads

Credit: Zach Dischner/WikimediaCommons

1. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are added to everyday cosmetic products including face wash, toothpaste and abrasive cleaners.

2. They are usually less than 1mm in size and most frequently made of polyethylene but also other petrochemical plastics, such as polypropylene and polystyrene.

3. In 2014, more than 663 different species were negatively impacted by marine debris with approximately 11% of reported cases specifically related to the ingestion of microplastics.

4. Since 1972, they have made their way into more than 100 personal care products sold by companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and L'Oréal.

5. From July 2017, the USA will ban the production of personal care products and cosmetics containing plastic microbeads, aimed at protecting the oceans.

For more on microbeads and the effects of microplastic pollution, read our upcoming news story coming up in our June issue.

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I was shopping at Publix today (Publix is a very big supermarket chain based in Florida that can also be found in Georgia and up to North Carolina), and I noticed these in the produce section, and instantly became furious.

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know how vehement I am about plastic pollution, so this just drove me up the wall. Why and how did we reach the point as a society for the need of vegetables individually wrapped in plastic?! Potatoes individually wrapped in plastic? I’m aghast.

Not only is this horrifying from an environmental perspective, but I also do not understand what the goal is. It’s not going to make the veggies last any longer, and it’s just going to get cut up and thrown in the trash.

This was probably my last time shopping at Publix. They should be ashamed to sell this stuff, and their “Green” department should not only get a reality check  but also really educate themselves on plastic pollution and the impacts it has on the environment, the marine life, and our own health.

Drowning In Plastic.
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The Ocean Now Has At Least 700 Pieces Of Plastic Per Person On Earth
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Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. Here we report an estimate of the total number of plastic particles and their weight floating in the world’s oceans from 24 expeditions (2007–2013) across all five sub-tropical gyres, costal Australia, Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea conducting surface net tows (N = 680) and visual survey transects of large plastic debris (N = 891). Using an oceanographic model of floating debris dispersal calibrated by our data, and correcting for wind-driven vertical mixing, we estimate a minimum of 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tons. When comparing between four size classes, two microplastic 4.75 mm, a tremendous loss of microplastics is observed from the sea surface compared to expected rates of fragmentation, suggesting there are mechanisms at play that remove

theatlantic.com
Beyond BPA: Could 'BPA-Free' Products Be Just as Unsafe?

There is apparently very little regulation about safety testing new plastic products for leeching toxins so while there are a lot of BPA free products hitting the market, it is unknown if the substitute chemicals are any safer than BPA itself. I am beginning to think taking it back to glass, ceramic, and stainless steel is the way to go.