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.

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!

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In the future, your water bottles and other pieces of plastic could dissolve like sugar

  • Discarded plastic is seriously polluting all corners of our earth, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
  • But recent inroads in biodegradable versions of plastic may potentially reduce damage to our planet in the future, so long as the world adopts it.
  • Researchers at the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies in the U.K. developed plastic made from sugar and carbon dioxide, which could transform any polycarbonate-made item of the future. 
  • Polycarbonate is typically used for your average water bottle, CD or DVD, along with other objects such as phone screen protectors. Read more (6/14/17)

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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? 

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.

Why Should I Care For the Oceans?

We’ve all heard it:

“Why does it matter if we overfish tuna? It tastes so good!”

“If the oceans dried up tomorrow, why would I care? I live 500miles away from any body of water!”

The thing is, without the oceans, we would all be dead. Our planet would probably look like Mars. There would be no freshwater, no food for us to eat, no suitable climate for us to survive.

(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Whether you live by the coast, or only see the ocean once a year on holiday, the ocean has an impact on your life. Every breath you take, every food or drinks you have… is thanks to our oceans. Every single individual and living being on this planet is deeply connected, and extremely dependent upon our seas.

The oceans regulates climate, weather, and temperature. They act as carbon dioxide ‘sinks’ from the atmosphere. They hold 97% of the Earth’s water. They govern our Earth’s chemistry; all the microbes and microscopic organisms at the very bottom of the food chain support our own existence. The oceans are also crucial for our economies, health and security.

(Photo credit: Brian Skerry)

The past generations have been raised with the idea that the ocean is huge (and it is) and resilient, and that we could basically take from or put into the oceans as much as we wanted. Now, we found out that we cant go on this way. This mentality is part of our problem and it needs to change.

While we have made tremendous discoveries about the oceans over the last few decades, we have also caused more destruction to the sea than ever before. Many fisheries stocks are overfished, catastrophic fishing techniques are destroying the habitats and depleting populations, many marine species are on the verge of extinction, coral reefs are dying, pollution run-offs from agricultural farms are creating dead-zones where nothing can grow or live, millions of gallons of oil have devastated the Gulf of Mexico, bigger and faster container ships create noise pollution for marine mammals and endangers them…The list goes on, and on. We have had so much impact that we have actually changed the pH of the oceans! 

Pretty overwhelming, uh? 

So yes, you should care, because if the oceans crash, we as a species are crashing with them. The entire planet Earth will be gone. And if that’s not enough of a wake-up call for you, I don’t know what else could be!

While all the current marine conservation issues appear huge and insurmountable, there is still hope. Each individual can make a difference now. YOU can make better choices about which fish to consume (or not at all!) and ask about the way they were caught or raised, YOU can encourage sustainable fishing practices, YOU can decide not to use fertilizer or pesticides in your backyard, YOU can bring your own reusable bag to the grocery store and stop using plastics, YOU can stop using products with microbeads, YOU can participate in beach clean-ups, YOU can start your own research and discover even more awesome things about the oceans… YOU can spread the word to your skeptic friends! Have people follow in your footsteps; inspire your friends and family. Be the change :) !

(Photo source: Flickr)

“If you want to have an impact on history and help secure a better future for all that you care about, be alive now” - Sylvia Earle

Plastic waste and gannets at Bass Rock in Scotland. A research expedition by Greenpeace found high levels of plastic pollution on the rock island in the Firth of Forth, home to the world’s largest colony of Northern gannets. Studies have shown that 90% of seabirds have ingested plastic

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Photograph: Kajsa Sjölander/Greenpeace

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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.