Ocean Plastic Is Expected To Triple By 2025 – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com

by Alex Larson →

Plastic pollution remains one of the biggest threats to our oceans along with rising seas levels, climate change, human-made chemical pollution, and agricultural runoff.

In a new report titled Foresight Future of the Sea by the UK Government Office for Science, discovered that the amount of plastic in the ocean could triple by the year 2025.

Currently, there is already over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic trash in the world’s ocean and with the current amount expected to triple in such a short time, we need to address the reality of what we have created.

The report warns that the current health of the oceans could have some cruel implications for biodiversity, noting that there is already a 49% decline in marine vertebrate populations between 1970 and 2012.

The world is slowly starting to wake up to our plastic problem but we still use way too much on a global scale. Walk into any super market or restaurant and pay attention to the amount of single-use plastic being used and quickly, it becomes evident how vast our addiction has become.

Governments have started to implement bans on plastic items but not yet on a scale that we need. One of the authors’ primary recommendations is to reduce plastic pollution in the sea through the development of new biodegradable plastics and public awareness campaigns. The authors note that that the UK and the world need to seriously reassess the way it manages the ocean.

Recent reports have started to identify just how troubling plastic pollution has become. Last week, a separate report found that 93 percent of major brand bottled water contained microplastics inside of the bottled water.

The time is now to reduce plastic waste. Governments need to start identifying how to reduce waste but it also starts at a personal level. Every decision a person makes to say to no to plastic is decision that is positively impacting our environment.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/03/21/ocean-plastic-is-expected-to-triple-by-2025/

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The Ocean Cleanup Device Breaks Under Stress Of The Sea – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson

The trash cleaning device deployed by the The Ocean Cleanup to collect plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean inside the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has broken apart and will be hauled back to land to attempt to repair.

Boyan Slat, who launched the project, told NBC that the device will be towed 800 miles to Hawaii so they can attempt to repair. If unable to, the device will be loaded on a barge and returned to Alameda, California.

The project has received an immense amount of criticism due to the concern of the trash collecting boom not being able to withstand the force of the ocean and that the device has failed to collect any significant amount of trash through months of testing.

Now, critics prediction of the device breaking has come true as the boom broke apart under constant wind and waves in the Pacific.

In late December, 60 feet of the device detached due to material fatigue. Slat then indicated that this likely occurred due to wave action placing stress on the boom. The fracture was caused by material fatigue, he wrote. That’s likely because of the intense action of the waves that puts tremendous stress on objects in the water.

“This is an entirely new category of machine that is out there in extremely challenging conditions,” the 24-year-old Dutch inventor said. “We always took into account that we might have to take it back and forth a few times. So it’s really not a significant departure from the original plan.”

The plastic barrier with a tapered 10-foot-deep (3-meter-deep) screen is intended to act like a coastline, trapping some of the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic that scientists estimate are swirling in the patch while allowing marine life to safely swim beneath it.

Slat has said he hopes one day to deploy 60 of the devices to skim plastic debris off the surface of the ocean.

With the device incapable of collecting trash and already breaking apart, more questions are quickly arising whether this effort is worth it and whether the group should continue to throw money at something that appears to not work.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/07/the-ocean-cleanup-device-breaks-under-stress-of-the-sea/

New Hampshire Considering Statewide Ban On Plastic Bags And Straws – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson
2 minutes

Lawmakers in New Hampshire are preparing to make a push against plastic bans and plastic straws in the coming legislative session.

New Hampshire Public Radio reports Democratic Rep. Judith Spang of Durham is introducing bills to ban plastic bags and plastic straws around the state. She says she has seen shoppers at grocery stores whose carts look like they are “about to take flight with all of the plastic bags fluttering in it.”

Spang says she’s also introducing legislation to allow cities and towns to establish their own bylaws that create single-use plastic bag bans. That would be insurance in case the statewide effort doesn’t succeed.

Cities across the United Sates and some countries already similar bans already in place as plastic pollution continues to create an immense crisis.

In the ocean itself, there are an estimated 15-51 trillion pieces of plastic already estimated to be in the ocean today, that number will only grow at a rapid pace in the future. By 2050, plastic pollution is estimated to outweigh all fish in the ocean.

In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. And every year, billions of pounds of plastic end up in the world’s oceans.

Plastic is so durable that the EPA reports “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” All five of the Earth’s major ocean gyres are inundated with plastic pollution. The largest one has being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch while countless other disturbing events occur daily across the world due to plastic pollution.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/07/new-hampshire-considering-statewide-ban-on-plastic-bags-and-straws/

2018: A Year of Fighting Plastic Waste

ecowatch.com
Olivia Rosane

Large recycled plastic fish sculpture in Helsingor situated infront of the Kronborg Castle in Helsingor in Denmark in July 28th 2017. James D. Morgan / Getty Images

The plastic pollution crisis has been building for some time now, to the point where around eight million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans each year.

In response, a movement to cut down on plastic waste has also been gaining momentum, but 2018 was the year it really picked up speed, with everyone from ordinary tourists to major companies to the Queen of England lending their hands to push it along.

Part of the movement’s success in 2018 was because of something that happened at the end of last year. Famed British naturalist David Attenborough aired his new BBC series Blue Planet II, which featured a heartbreaking image of an albatross feeding a plastic toothpick to its young.

Albatrosses are ingesting plastic – Blue Planet II: Episode 7 Preview – BBC One http://www.youtube.com

“Never before have we been so aware of what we are doing to our planet—and never before have we had such power to do something about it,” he wrote at the close of 2017. “Surely we have a responsibility to care for the planet on which we live?”

Here is a brief timeline of how we answered his question in 2018.

January: The year began auspiciously when, early in January, a ban on microbeads entered into force in the UK. Microbeads were common in personal care products, but they washed down drains into every body of water in the world, where marine life ate them by mistake, moving them up the ocean food web to larger marine mammals and, eventually, to us. In the U.S., former President Barack Obama had already signed legislation phasing out the manufacturing of products containing microbeads by July 2017 and the sale of these products by July 2018.

February: The fight against plastic gained a very distinguished ally early in the year when Queen Elizabeth II banned plastic straws and bottles on all royal properties, including visitor cafes. The Queen was reportedly inspired by working with Attenborough on Blue Planet II.

March: You don’t need to be a world-famous naturalist to raise awareness about plastic pollution. British diver Rich Horner raised a lot when a video he had posted on Facebook went viral. The video showed Horner swimming in plastic-filled water off of Bali’s Manta Point. Horner used the opportunity to encourage people to cut down on single use plastics and to correctly recycle the plastic they do use.

The ocean currents brought us in a lovely gift today… http://www.youtube.com

April: On Sunday, April 22, the world celebrated Earth Day. This year’s focus? Ending plastic pollution by 2020. “An aroused public can overcome a powerful economic interest, but only when the issue is felt intensely. Until ending ‘one-way’ plastics becomes a political priority around the world, [their manufacture] will continue unabated. Meanwhile, we nevertheless each should ‘be the change we want to see,'” Earth Day founder Denis Hayes said in an interview.

May: Chile’s congress unanimously approved a nation-wide ban on plastic bags at the end of the month, making Chile the first country in the Americas to do so. The law gave major retailers one year and smaller businesses two years to phase out the bags. Around 95 percent of Chileans supported their government’s decision.

#ChaoBolsasPlásticas http://www.youtube.com

June: June was a big month for corporate action on single-use plastics as companies like SeaWorld parks, American Express, cruise company Royal Caribbean, IKEA, A&W Canada and Burger King UK all pledged to phase out items like straws, stirrers, lids and bags. World governments also joined in when Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the EU endorsed the G7 Ocean Plastics Charter. The charter set goals for reducing unnecessary plastics and encouraging recycling, but the U.S. and Japan refused to sign.

July: In July, bans on plastic straws specifically took off. A city-wide ban on plastic straws and utensils in Seattle went into effect July 1, About a week later, one of Seattle’s most famous companies followed suit when Starbucks became the largest food and beverage retailer to ban plastic straws, promising to remove them from all locations by 2020. However, the disability community raised important concerns about the straw bans. They pointed out that many people with disabilities rely on plastic straws’ mix of strength and flexibility to dine out independently and asked that the bans be flexible as well. “We don’t have to choose between making the world more sustainable or making it more accessible,” disability advocate Karin Hitselberger wrote.

August: France worked to up its commitment to fighting plastic pollution by announcing a series of policy changes this August. Next year, items without recyclable packaging could cost as much as 10 percent more, while items with recyclable packaging could cost 10 percent less. The measures also included upping taxes for landfills, reducing taxes for recycling and implementing a refund for turning in plastic bottles. All of this is to further the country’s goal of recycling 100 percent of plastic by 2025.

September: The Ocean Cleanup launched this month from San Francisco in an attempt to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of ocean trash twice the size of Texas. The plastic-removing method, developed by Boyan Slat of the Netherlands when he was still a teenager, hasn’t worked effectively yet, but Slat is not ready to give up and continues to troubleshoot.

Boyan Slat explains the challenges ahead for System 001 http://www.youtube.com

October: This month some of the biggest plastic polluting companies in the world, such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Unilever and H&M, joined forces with more than 250 governments, businesses and organizations to sign the “New Plastics Economy Global Commitment” to make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

November: In a testament to how successful the movement against plastic pollution was in 2018, Collins Dictionary named “single-use” their word of the year. The dictionary said use of the word had jumped four fold since 2013. “Single-use refers to products—often plastic—that are ‘made to be used once only’ before disposal. Images of plastic adrift in the most distant oceans, such as straws, bottles, and bags have led to a global campaign to reduce their use,” Collins wrote of its decision.

December: 2018 ended on a positive note for the fight against plastic waste when the EU got one step closer to an agreement to reduce or ban several single-use plastic items. The plan was first introduced by the European Commission in May and targets items like cigarette butts, straws, bottles, cutlery and cotton buds. EU’s parliament and council have reached a provisional agreement to move the plan forward.

https://www.ecowatch.com/2018-fighting-plastic-waste-2624606566.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=c669446345-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-c669446345-86074753

Call for a Plastic-Free Future – Greenpeace International

Remember your first toothbrush, it’s probably still out there!

We are calling on people around the world to create a “Million Acts of Blue”

Actions to push retailers, corporations and businesses to reduce single-use plastic. It’s going to take communities both large and small to tackle the scale of the current plastic pollution crisis, we all have a role to play. Every action to reduce single-use plastic sends a message to the industry that it’s time to change. We can no longer allow products that are used for a few seconds to pollute our planet for a lifetime.

For a plastic – free future go here to download the app and get more information…

https://www.greenpeace.org/international/act/lets-end-the-age-of-plastic/

Remember that $20 million ocean cleanup project? It isn’t working.

grist.org
By Paola Rosa-Aquino on Dec 26, 2018

The $20 million effort to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has hit a bit of a snafu.

Organizers for The Ocean Cleanup, which launched the project in September, already had their work cut out for them — the floating garbage patch is made up of an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, which has coalesced into a field of debris twice the size of Texas, weighing in at 88,000 tons (that’s the equivalent of 500 jumbo jets, yikes).

In order to clean up the massive garbage island, engineers at the non-government organization built a U-shaped barrier, which they hoped would act like a coastline, trapping the plastic floating in large swathes of the patch. The system can communicate its whereabouts at all times, allowing a support vessel to come by periodically to pick up all the junk in the device’s trunk, so to speak, for recycling.

The highly anticipated endeavor deployed out of San Francisco in September, when the floating device — known as System 001 or Wilson — was towed out to the island of rubbish located between California and Hawaii. The goal of The Ocean Cleanup is to remove up to 50 percent of plastics in the area within five years.

But so far, the giant garbage catcher is having issues holding on to plastic waste.

George Leonard, chief scientist of the Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit environmental advocacy says the organization’s goal is admirable, but can’t be the only solution to ocean plastics pollution. He said a solution must include a multi-pronged approach, including stopping plastic from reaching the ocean in the first place. Humans dump more than 8 million tons of trash into the ocean each year — the equivalent of one dump truck full of plastic every minute.

“The clock is ticking; we must confront this challenge before plastics overwhelm the ocean,” Leonard said.

The Ocean Cleanup Fonder Boyan Slat said the slow speed of the solar-powered 600-meter long barrier isn’t allowing it to scoop up plastic from the swirling trash island. Over the next few weeks, a crew of engineers will make tweaks to the system. Slat says it’s all part of the process when you take on a project this ambitious (Forbes called it “the world’s largest ocean cleanup”).

In a statement released on December 20, Slat said that he always expected it was going to be a bit of an ongoing experiment. “What we’re trying to do has never been done before,” he said. “For the beta phase of [the] technology, this is already a success.”

https://grist.org/science/remember-that-20-million-garbage-cleanup-project-it-isnt-working/

I Went to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is What I Saw.

Plastic planet is a series on the global plastics crisis that evaluates the environmental and human cost and considers possible solution to this devastating man-made problem. In this piece, Alli Mahoney, Teen Vogue News and Politics Features Editor, describes her experience in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The great Pacific Garbage patch (GPGP) a site of marine debris is considered to be twice the size of Texas, is perhaps the foremost expression of the impact of plastic waste on our world and the role of humans in environmental degradation.

Continue reading here…

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/i-went-to-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch/amp?__twitter_impression=true

UK Seal Found With Frisbee Around Its Neck – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →
GLENN MINGHAM/ FRIENDS OF HORSEY SEALS

An Atlantic grey seal in Norfolk has been rescued after it was found with a plastic ring around her neck on Horsey beach by the Friends of Horsey Seals group.

The marine mammal has been taken to the RSPCA centre at East Winch for treatment and care after being found severely ill and weakened due to the frisbee.

The seal was examined by the wildlife centre’s vet who found the pink plastic frisbee was embedded in the seal’s neck, causing a deep neck wound which had become severely infected. The incident is similar to one that occurred just over a year ago in September 2017 when a very ill grey seal, later dubbed Mrs Frisbee, was also rescued and admitted to RSPCA East Winch with a yellow plastic frisbee cutting deeply into her neck.

The seal appears to be recovering already after removal and treatment and is expected to be released into the wild in February.

Pollution and plastic pollution continue to be a major threat to the health of the oceans and the wildlife that lives in it. Taking care of our planet is unfortunately something that is not a given and it breaks our hearts that incidents like this could be so easily prevented.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/12/20/uk-seal-found-with-frisbee-around-its-neck/

Dolphin Starves To Death After Getting Beak Trapped In Plastic Piece – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →

A dolphins beaked is closed shut by a plastic piece, leading to its death. Papa Bois Conservation Facebook.

In a photo shared on the Facebook page of Papa Bois Conservation, it appears to show what is a dolphin dead after a plastic bottle ring got caught on the dolphins beak.

In the Facebook post, the group writes that the animal starved after being unable to open its mouth. “A plastic bottle cap ring got caught on this dolphin’s beak. It starved to death. Isn’t it time to use a reusable bottle.”

Plastic continues to be a major concern to the health of the oceans as levels continue to increase to levels never before seen daily.

At the current pace, plastic in the ocean is expected to outweigh fish by 2050 and that will only increase exponentially if there is not a plan put in place.

Cities and countries around the world are slowly starting to take notice but at a rate which is much to slow to prevent incidents such as this.

The best thing you can do is to reduce your overall plastic usage, talk to anyone and everyone you can, and write to your local businesses, politicians and anyone of influence to try and help end this crisis

If we are unwilling to change for ourselves, lets do it for the rest of the planet.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/12/11/dolphin-starves-to-death-after-getting-beak-trapped-in-plastic-piece/

Troubling Video Shows Plastic Bag Being Pulled Out Of Sea Turtle – Sea Voice News

About Alex Larson View all posts by Alex Larson →

Your weekly story of the fight between wildlife and plastic continues here. In yet another incident, an aquarium in South Africa has shared a video on their Facebook page showing them pulling a plastic bag and other trash from a sea turtle’s throat.

In yet another troubling reminder of the hazards that plastic products can pose to marine life, an aquarium in South Africa has shared a video online that shows a plastic bag and other trash being removed from a sea turtle’s throat.

According to Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, the turtle was found washed up on a beach in the town of Struisbaai earlier this month. Showing signs of sickness, the turtle was rushed to the aquarium where veterinarians took a look at the reptile.

According to the aquariums blog page, they suspected a possible lung infection or pneumonia so they started the animal with antibiotics. Over the next couple of days, the team notice the turtle was still becoming weaker. Five days after its arrival, a study was done to investigate if the turtle possible had a blockage.

The video reveals a large piece of black plastic being removed from the animals throat, which was identified to be a plastic bag.

Unfortunately, even after the surgery, the turtle is still in critical condition and the rehabilitation team is monitoring the progress of it.

The oceans are facing a tremendous problem right now in fighting plastic in the ocean. At the current pace, plastic in the ocean is expected to outweigh fish by 2050 and that will only increase exponentially if there is not a plan put in place.

The best bet, stop using plastics. More countries around the World have started to ban plastics in some form but not enough is being done. You can make an immediate impact by choosing items that are not made out of plastic, not using any plastic bags and re-use any item if you have no other choice but purchasing plastic.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/12/03/troubling-video-shows-plastic-bag-being-pulled-out-of-sea-turtle/

Ask big corporations to stop plastic pollution! | Greenpeace

Take Action Now!

Single-use plastic costs little to companies, but the real price is paid by our planet and communities. For far too long, big companies have made big money forcing plastic packaging into our lives, most of the time without giving us the choice to avoid it.

Corporations like Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Mars, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson and Johnson, and Danone are increasing the amount of single-use plastic and, even if they claim to know little about where their plastic ends up, their solutions have only been related to recycling.

The truth is that recycling is not the solution: over 90% of the plastic ever made has not been recycled, it sits in landfills, ends up in the environment, or has been incinerated and dispersed toxic pollution back to our environment. We cannot simply recycle our way out of the plastic pollution crisis.

Our planet can’t take anymore. We need urgently to stop plastic pollution at its source. It’s time for corporations to move away from single-use plastic altogether.

We ask the CEOs of Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Mars, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson and Johnson, Danone:

to be transparent about the plastic they use and produce
to commit to reduction and set annual targets for reducing their plastic footprint
to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic by the end of 2019
to invest in reuse and new delivery systems

The plastic pollution crisis is massive, and beach cleanups and recycling are simply not enough. We need real solutions now!

Add your name to demand that companies take responsibility for the plastic pollution crisis they helped create!

https://engage.us.greenpeace.org/onlineactions/XyTsv1fO4kCSNiPD9jB1wQ2?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=plastic_invaders_global_spotlight_s&sourceid=1004728

Please phase out single-use plastic packaging and invest in alternative delivery systems

To the CEOs of Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Mars, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson and Johnson, and Danone.

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Sea Turtle Rescued After Plastic Spoon Found Stuck In Turtles Mouth

seavoicenews.com
By Alex Larson
2 minutes

Single-use plastic is one the bigger issues facing the world along with climate change and overfishing. It seems that every day, their is a new incident regarding a marine animal and discarded trash in the ocean that puts the animals life in danger. It seems like that because it is true.

The latest, a sea turtle was rescued from drowning in Oaxaca, Mexico after a plastic spoon became stuck inside the turtles mouth.

A fisherman spotted the reptile floating off the coast of Puerto Escondido and immediately called Mexico’s Civil Protection to come save the turtle

Civil Protection was able to capture the turtle and Brough it to the University of the Sea to try and rescued the damaged and sick turtle.

Specialists removed the spoon and were able to return the turtle back to the open sea after determine the turtle was healthy enough.

This incident happened shortly after Mexico’s Environment Secretariat announced an awareness workshop for Oaxaca’s 5,000 fisherman to better protect marine life and reduce bycatch particularly with sea turtles.

The workshop was put into place after the discovery of over 300 sea turtles that died on the Oaxacan coast when they were caught in the nets of tuna boats.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/10/08/sea-turtle-rescued-after-plastic-spoon-found-stuck-in-turtles-mouth/

Study Finds Half of Baby Sea Turtles Die From Consuming Plastic

seavoicenews.com
By Alex Larson
3 minutes

A recent study by researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have just uncovered a very disturbing impact humans are having on sea turtle populations. In the study, published in Nature, scientist examined data from almost 1,000 dead sea turtles and discovered that the youngest appeared to be the most vulnerable to plastic pollution.

The research revealed that plastic was found in the stomach of over half of the baby post-hatchlings and while 25% ofturtles slightly older than the hatchlings were found with plastic inside their stomach. In comparison, around 15 percent of adult turtles were affected by plastic.

The number of pieces of plastic in the reptiles’ stomachs varied greatly – from one to over 300, The Independent reports. According to a leader of the study, Dr. Britta Denise Hardesty from CSIRO, and her team, turtles have a 50 percent probability of death after consuming just 14 plastic pieces.

Turtles were among the very first species observed consuming plastic waste as the early reports of bags being discovered in their stomachs go back to the 1980s. Since that time, the amount of plastic that ends up in the oceans has grown exponentially, and now nearly 9 tons of plastic enter the oceans every year.

Turtles are not the only animals to be impacted by plastic but understand how one species is so negatively impacted may help people wrap their heads around how severe of a problem our plastic addiction has become.

The research is most concerning as the findings revealed that the most vulnerable age group of turtles, hatchlings, are actually the most impacted by plastic pollution. Sea turtles are already threatened world-wide as pollution, bycatch, overfishing and coastal development has led many species to become endangered. Turtle species and hundreds of other marine creatures are now facing a threat like no other which requires serious and lasting action – a completely reinvented approach to plastic.

We are seeing the public and governments pay more attention to plastic waste but we still have a long way to go before we get to where we need to be. To get to that goal, we will need to continue to work towards reducing total plastic usage everyday by reaching out to local business and elected officials and forcing change

http://HP://seavoicenews.com/2018/10/15/study-finds-half-of-baby-sea-turtles-die-from-consuming-plastic/

Baby Squirrels Tangled in Plastic Saved by Wisconsin Veterinarians

 

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ecowatch.com
Baby Squirrels Tangled in Plastic Saved by Wisconsin Veterinarians
Olivia Rosane
3-4 minutes

There have been growing concerns about the impact that the 8 million tons of plastic that enter the world’s oceans each year have on marine life.

But that oceanic focus doesn’t mean land animals are safe from plastic pollution.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society published a post on its Facebook page Friday detailing what had happened when a “caring finder” alerted the center to five young squirrels in an unusual predicament, KMSP TV reported.

“The tails of these five juvenile Gray Squirrel siblings had become hopelessly entangled with the long-stemmed grasses and strips of plastic their mother used as nest material, and with each other! A predicament that, without careful and quick intervention, would at the least cost each of these squirrels their very important tail (needed for balance and warmth), and likely their lives,” the post said.41697262_1955468024510398_6519925720158830592_n

The veterinarians first had to anesthetize the squirrels all at once.

“You can imagine how wiggly and unruly (and nippy!) this frightened, distressed ball of squirrelly energy was,” the post said.

The vets then worked on untangling the “Gordian Knot” of tails.

“It was impossible to tell whose tail was whose, and we were increasingly concerned because all of them had suffered from varying degrees of tissue damage to their tails caused by circulatory impairment,” the post said.

It took 20 minutes for the vets to use scissors to cut away at the grass and plastic and free the squirrels. The squirrels then began to recover from anesthesia.

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The vets said they would watch the squirrels for a few days to make sure they did not develop tail necrosis caused by a lack of blood flow, but one day after the procedure, they seemed to be doing well.

“Now, one day later, they are all bright-eyed, and three of the five are ‘bushy-tailed,'” the post said.

According to the most recent data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 34.5 million tons of plastic were produced in the U.S. in 2015. Only 9.1 percent of that was recycled. 5.4 million tons were burned and the vast majority, 26 million tons, went into landfills.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) wrote that it often has to rescue animals from littered items.

“Plastic items become intestinal blockages; baited fishing lines entangle limbs, hindering movement and causing dismemberment; and aluminum cans with leftover soda or beer turn into razor-sharp traps,” HSUS wrote in a 2010 blog post.

Across the ocean, the UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimated it got an average of 14 calls a day about animals endangered by litter.

Ocean Cleanup’s Plan to Remove 88,000 Tons of Plastic From the Pacific Garbage Patch Has Just Begun!

onegreenpeace.org
Aleksandra Pajda

Earlier this year, the non-profit The Ocean Cleanup was getting ready to put its system designed to remove plastic pollution from the ocean in motion. Now, the innovative technology is finally setting sail for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and starting its important work with a two-week trial. With steady development, the organization hopes to remove as much as half of the 88,000 tons of plastic from the garbage patch in just five years.

On September 10th, the organization started towing its “Ocean Cleanup System 001” from San Francisco to a trial site which is located about 240 nautical miles (260 miles) away, Endgadget reports. The system will now be pushed by the winds and waves into a U-shape and start drifting on its own, marking the beginning of the test run. While the huge tube will float on the surface, a 10-foot long skirt hanging below will collect pieces of plastic from the water. Large pieces of plastic aren’t the only bits that the system can catch, the specially designed skirt can collect pieces as small as just a millimeter in size. Throughout the process, boats will help scoop out plastics from the system and deliver them to a recycling plant.

The entirety of the system will be monitored throughout the trial period in order to make sure that it fulfills its role and does not harm plankton nor any other marine life. After two weeks, the structure will be towed another 900 nautical miles to begin its main mission: cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Ocean Cleanup, founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, hopes that System 001 can remove about 55 tons of plastic from the ocean per year. In comparison with the current size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – which is made of some 88,000 tons of waste – this number may seem small, but the organization wants to eventually create 60 systems which together would be able to extract half of the garbage patch debris every five years. Deployed in this way, the technology would have an immensely positive impact on the waters – and, hopefully, it will be able to develop to the projected size.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to consist of around 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. Over 8.8 million tons of plastic waste enters the already polluted oceans every year. This reality will not change unless we actively work to change it. To find out how you can help in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/ocean-cleanups-plan-remove-88000-tons-plastic-pacific-garbage-patch-just-begun/

Image source: The Ocean Cleanup/Facebook

Yikes! Study Finds Dolphins Have Potentially Harmful Plastic Additive In Their Bodies

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onegreenplanet.org
Aleksandra Pajda

A new study conducted by researchers from the College of Charleston and Chicago Zoological Society have found phthalates, chemical additives used to make plastics more flexible, to be present in the bodies of bottlenose dolphins. During their study, researchers collected and tested urine samples from 17 dolphins from Sarasota Bay in Florida. The tests allowed for the researchers to see if the animals had been exposed to phthalates within the past three to six months, and sadly, they discovered for the first time that the dolphins did indeed have this harmful additive in their systems, highlighting once again the danger of what can happen when our plastic waste ends up in the environment.

Plastics are now known to leach chemical components, and considering the fact we dump around 8.8 million tons of plastic into the oceans every year, it figures that phthalates would eventually end up polluting the marine environment.

Studies conducted in the past have found a connection between phthalates and some forms of cancer and reproductive issues, National Geographic reports. Like BPA, phthalates function as endocrine disruptors and have been linked to altering the ability of the body to produce and maintain proper levels of hormones. Some of the other health risks associated with phthalates include the development of asthma in children, lower IQs for developing fetuses, and ADHD. Phthalates have also been associated alongside BPA as a possible cause for infertility, especially for males attempting to conceive a child.

While the connection between phthalates and human health are starting to be more understood, there is little known about how they might impact dolphins.

“We weren’t surprised to detect exposure, but what was surprising were the levels we were detecting,” said Leslie Hart, the study’s lead author.

Alarmingly, at least one form of phthalate was found in as many of 71 percent of the tested dolphins.

Since the research was the first to use urine samples to detect the presence of these chemicals, Hart pointed out that the team is still establishing what can be considered as normal and what as anomalous. Nevertheless, some of the animals were found to have levels of phthalate metabolites comparable to concentrations detected in people. It is very surprising since humans presumably come into contact with objects that contain phthalates more regularly. The next phase of research will try to find how dolphins are metabolizing the chemicals.

Hart’s research is also part of an ongoing project which focuses on the study of the health impacts of phthalates and how they end up in the environment. Thanks to rising awareness, more people are actively looking for personal care products that do not contain phthalates, and fortunately, studies following these behaviors have shown that when people avoid phthalates, the chemical traces decrease in their bodies.

As we learn more about the negative impact that plastic has on our lives and the environment, it becomes more important to remove this ingredient from our lives. To learn how you can use less plastic and what alternatives you have, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/dolphins-potentially-harmful-plastic-additive-bodies/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=977e9b56c1-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-977e9b56c1-106049477

Image source: Guillaume Meurice/Pexels

Petition: Demand Coca Cola find ways to use less plastic in Thailand.

by: Michael Taylor
recipient: Coca Cola

7,226 SUPPORTERS – 10,000 GOAL

Watching monkeys run around and laughing at their antics it is easy to forget that they shouldn’t be drinking from plastic bottles and rummaging through garbage left behind by humans. There is nothing cute about monkeys playing with human waste and there is nothing cute about watching a monkey digging in plastic, getting it tangled around its head and slowly suffocating.

While tourism is a good thing, with obvious benefits for local communities and the economy, it can still have its drawbacks. Irresponsible tourists, mixed with badly managed waste disposal and no or ineffective recycling initiatives can have devastating effects on countries and its wildlife.

Countries like Thailand with stunning its beaches, friendly locals and rich culture and cuisine provides 35 million tourists a year an unforgettable holiday. Phuket that is Thailand’s largest island, and is popularly known as Phuket the pearl of the south because of its natural resources. Rocky peninsular, white beaches, limestone cliffs, tranquil broad bays and tropical forests are some of sites and wonders to enjoy. It is one of the most visited and most popular tourist destinations in the world. Phuket sees around 5 million Thailands tourists yearly. While leaving them with an indelible mark, the island of Phuket is also left with something a lot less pleasant – unmanagable waste that is choking the environment, polluting the ocean, it looks terrible and is dangerous to the animals.

Coca-Cola is one of the largest producers of plastics in the world, and they are very well aware of this. Taking responsibility for this, Coca-Cola joined the Mexican plastics industry in 2002 to create a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a culture of recycling in Mexico. Coca-Cola then also funded an initiative to help create IMER and PetStar, the country’s food-grade PET (Polyethylene terephthalate ) plastic recycling plants. In 2016, Mexico recycled 57% of the PET plastic it produced (up from 9% in 2002), making it a leading country globally for recycling PET plastic.

Now we ask the same be done for Thailand. While we appreciate the 2nd Lives campaign, we believe a more substantial effort is needed in Thailand, and Phuket more specifically. We have seen the success that you had in Mexico, and we are sure that you have learned much from the Mexican campaign.

James Quincey, President and CEO of Coca-Cola: I have read your blog where you speak about a world without waste, and you passionate speak about recycling and the role Coca-Cola played in Mexico. Thailand is sinking under plastics, and we ask that you put your money where your mouth is, and focus on Thailand, and Phuket as you did in Mexico.

Coca-Cola has the experience and the means to save Thailand and its monkeys from death by plastic. Sign this petition, send it to your friends and family and be a part of something that can and will make a difference.
Tell James Quincey that one monkey suffocating is too much.

James Quincey, act now, please, and do something for Thailand and her wildlife

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/264/694/825/

 

Contact Lenses Add to Earth’s Microplastic Crisis

ecowatch.com
Contact Lenses Add to Earth’s Microplastic Crisis
Lorraine Chow
4-5 minutes

Contact lenses may appear harmlessly soft and small, but a big chunk of American users are improperly disposing their used lenses and adding to the planet’s microplastic problem, Arizona State University researchers found.

In a survey of 409 wearers, about 1 in 5 responded that they flushed their used lenses down the toilet or sink instead of throwing them in the trash, according to a new study presented at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting and Exposition.

“We found that 15 to 20 percent of contact wearers are flushing the lenses down the sink or toilet,” said Charlie Rolsky, an Arizona State University Ph.D. student who is presenting the work, in a press release.

The flushed lenses, which are mostly plastic, turn up at wastewater treatment plants and become part of sewage sludge that gets spread on farmland.

Contact lenses recovered from treated sewage sludge Charles Rolsky

With 45 million contact users in the U.S., the research team estimated 6-10 metric tons of plastic lenses end up in wastewater in the U.S. alone each year.

Rolf Halden, the director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and one of the authors of the new study, noted at a press conference on Monday that these contacts do not decompose.

“They don’t degrade. They don’t attenuate but they become smaller. So they create what we know as microplastic pollution, which is contaminating the oceans,” he said.

Halden said that fragments have been found in sewage sludge, which can contaminate the soil environment and become ingested by earthworms when it’s spread on land.

“We know that earthworms take up soil and can ingest plastics, and then if birds eat the worms it creates a pathway for plastics to enter the food chain,” he said. Further, after heavy rains, the plastic bits can trickle out into streams and other waterways and make their way into the ocean.

And it’s not just the contact lenses themselves that are an environmental problem. Dailies, weeklies and monthlies are packaged by the billions in polypropylene plastic containers and aluminum lids, and “the unfortunate news is that they do not get recycled very effectively,” Halden said. Only one manufacturer, Bausch + Lomb, has a take-back recycling program.

Soft contacts are usually made of a combination of poly(methylmethacrylate), silicones and fluoropolymers, which makes them feel watery and gel-like. Halden suggested that people flick their contacts down the sink or toilet because they do not feel like solid plastic waste.

The researchers hope their study will teach users to stop flushing their contacts. They are also calling on lens manufacturers, at the very least, to label their products with proper disposal instructions.

“Ultimately, we hope that manufacturers will conduct more research on how the lenses impact aquatic life and how fast the lenses degrade in a marine environment,” Halden said in the press release.

Angela Lashbrook, who reported about the new study for The Atlantic, admitted to flushing lenses down the toilet herself. She also polled a few of her contact-wearing friends and was surprised to find they all flushed their lenses, too.

Thanks to the study, she and her friends vowed to make the simple switch of throwing used contacts in the trash.

“It’s quite possibly the easiest change to my behavior I’ve ever had to make that could avoid hurting the environment. My contacts-wearing friends, without my scolding, all pledged to do the same,” Lashbrook wrote.

Watch here to learn more about the study:

https://www.ecowatch.com/contact-lenses-microplastic-waste-2597484024.html?utm_source=EcoWatch%2BList&utm_campaign=4d13d4e552-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-4d13d4e552-86074753

Adopt a Plastic Straw Upon Request Policy · Change.org

change.org
Adopt a Plastic Straw Upon Request Policy · Change.org
Sophia and Amanda started this petition to Dunkin’ Donuts
2 minutes

Our names are Amanda and Sophia. One day in science class, we came upon an article on plastic straws. The article stated that Americans use more than 500 million straws a day- and throw them away. That is equivalent to 125 school buses filled with plastic straws. We also learned that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

Those numbers concern us. So when we joined the Earth Club at our school, the leader suggested using change.org, which is how we came upon this website. All 500 million of these plastic straws end up in a landfill or worse, the ocean. When plastic straws get into the ocean, the fish mistake it for food, eat it, and get sick or die. In fact, science shows that when you eat fish, you might as well be eating plastic!

We both think that Dunkin Donuts is a very tasty and an influential company. By choosing this business, we hope to make them take this issue very seriously. These shops have a lot of people coming in every day, almost all of them getting cold beverages containing plastic straws. However, those straws add up to the landfill and get into the ocean. Dunkin’ Donuts is a very successful company, so if they stopped giving out straws (and retained some available for customers with disabilities), won’t others follow their lead?

So please sign this petition and share it with your friends to help the environment, and the world we all live in. Remember, #StrawsSuck! Thank you!

https://www.change.org/p/dunkin-donuts-adopt-a-plastic-straw-upon-request-policy/sign?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=385680&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=Y65ELrEVwnOSO7%2bDYTtOcVK%2fbDbHFP1HR4TLOmZza5g8gexy405l7FX6EyjcgUeW&j=385680&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=64740345&mid=7233053&jb=1906

When You Refuse A Straw, You Refuse Oil. And Vice Versa.

Written by Sami Grover

When I first started writing for TreeHugger more than a decade ago, I spent a good deal of time worrying about which environmental problems were actually worth worrying about. When a rap video about banning plastic bags went viral, I gently made the case that we might have bigger things to worry about:
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On a case-by-case basis I have no problem with banning the single use plastic bag. But, given all the environmental challenges ahead of us—from peak oil to climate change to clean water issues—and given the uphill struggle we face getting any kind of action in Government, I do think it is worth asking how much political capital we want to spend on laws that address one of the most visible symptoms, but not the root problem of excessive fossil fuel use.

Since then, the issue of single-use plastics seems to have blown up in the public consciousness. And from hotel chains banning straws to plastic bag taxes drastically cutting the amount of bags being found in the ocean, there’s very real progress being made against the problem of ocean plastic pollution.

This success alone has caused me to rethink the musings of my younger, more opinionated self. After all, even if global climate change is the most pressing overarching problem we face, there’s little doubt that ocean ecosystems will be better able to adapt if they are not simultaneously inundated by a sea (sorry!) of plastic trash.

But even this backtracking misses the more important reason that I was wrong. And that’s the fact that by refusing or restricting single-use plastics, consumers and organizations are directly undermining the fossil fuel economy too. As Lloyd noted before, thanks to fracking, fossil fuel companies are now awash with feedstocks for plastics and they are busy expanding the production pipeline massively. So every time you refuse a plastic straw or bag and—more importantly—push for corporate and/or government action to limit plastic consumption, then you are not just making a contribution to trash-free seas. You are also striking a small blow against oil demand and thus helping to mitigate the climate crisis too.

Of course, the opposite is true also. Every time you ride a bike, or choose transit, or opt for electrified transportation, you are not only cutting back on carbon emissions, but you’re disrupting the economy that’s flooding us with plastic too. BP has just admitted that plastic bans might curb demand growth, and it’s also keeping an eye on vehicle electrification and its impact on future profits. Accelerating the adoption of both simultaneously seems like an excellent way to send Big Oil a message.

https://www.care2.com/causes/when-you-refuse-a-straw-you-refuse-oil-and-vice-versa.html

Related:

How to Tackle the Plastic Straw Problem Without Ignoring Disabled People
The Starbucks Plastic Straw Ban Isn’t as Great as It Seems

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger

Campaign | Oceana

oceana.org
Campaign | Oceana
2-3 minutes

The oceans face a massive and growing threat from something you encounter everyday: plastics. An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—this is roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute.

A garbage truck’s-worth of plastic ends up
in the ocean every minute

As plastics continue to flood into our oceans, the list of marine species affected by plastic debris expands. Tens of thousands of individual marine organisms have been observed suffering from entanglement or ingestion of plastics permeating the marine environment—from zooplankton and fish, to sea turtles, marine mammals and seabirds.

Plastics never go away. Instead, they break down into smaller and smaller pieces, which act as magnets for harmful pollutants. When eaten by fish, some of those chemical-laden microplastics can work their way up the food chain and into the fish we eat.

Plastics in our oceans threaten the viability of critical marine ecosystems, but marine plastic pollution is not just a problem for our oceans. The extent to which we, too, are being affected by the plastics that have become so ubiquitous in our environment—in our food, water and air—is a topic of extensive research.

Unfortunately, one of the most popular solutions to plastic pollution falls far short. A meager 9 percent of all the plastic produced has been recycled. Recycling alone is not enough to solve the plastics crisis. To have an impact, we must reduce the amount of single-use plastic being produced at the source. Oceana’s plastics campaign will urge companies to adopt alternatives for single-use plastic packaging.

https://oceana.org/our-campaigns/plastics?utm_campaign=Advo&utm_content=20180813PlasticsTweet&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_id=LPghIAIuvUvUEM

Plastics aren’t just polluting our oceans — they’re releasing greenhouse gases

by Emily Hunter

I’m a French-Canadian postdoctoral scholar at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and part of the School of Ocean and Earth Science & Technology (SOEST). As part of our team’s research, we found that, as plastic decomposes, it is producing a new source of greenhouse gas pollution not included in previous climate models. These emissions are only expected to increase — especially as more plastic is produced and accumulated in the environment and degrades over time.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii, Manoa have discovered startling new evidence that the plastics on land and in the ocean release greenhouse gases as they break down. In this article, scientist Sarah-Jeanne Royer tells us about what she found in the field and why it’s now even more important to break free from plastic. © Sarah-Jeanne Royer

Greenhouse gases have a direct impact on climate change — affecting sea level rise, global temperatures, ecosystem health on land and in the ocean, and storms, increasing flooding, drought, and erosion. Most plastic is created from natural gases, so the release of greenhouse gases from plastic waste might not seem surprising. Even so, the University of Hawaii is actually the first group publishing data about the link between greenhouse gases and plastic in the environment.

Of particular concern is a type of plastic called low-density polyethylene, which is the highest emitter of climate-wrecking greenhouse gases. It’s commonly found in the most produced, used, and discarded single-use plastics making their way into our oceans and waterways today. Our research shows that as this plastic breaks down in the ocean, the greenhouse emissions increase dramatically — up to 488 times morethan in pellet form, the term used to describe ‘raw’ plastic before it’s been made into an end product like a bag or water bottle.

Unfortunately, that’s not all. Plastics exposed directly to sunlight in the air — like on land at beaches, coastlines, fields, and playgrounds — make an even greater contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. So while we urgently need to keep plastics out of the ocean to stop the negative impacts of pollution on marine life and coastal communities, that’s not enough. On land, discarded plastics still release greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change even while no one is watching.

 

This research has big implications for waste management as well as potential climate change impacts. Plastic pollution is already reaching crisis levels, and this new information only makes the problem more urgent to address — and fast. Considering the amounts of plastic washing ashore on our coastlines, along with the amount of plastic exposed to environmental conditions, to protect our planet against climate change, we need to stop plastic production at the source.

Greenpeace UK Oceans campaigner Tisha Brown holds up plastic straws collected during a beach cleanup activity on Freedom Island, Philippines.

Sarah-Jeanne Royer is a French-Canadian postdoctoral scholar at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and part of the School of Ocean and Earth Science & Technology (SOEST). To learn more about her research on plastics and greenhouse gas emissions, read the full published report here

https://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/story/plastics-arent-just-polluting-our-oceans-theyre-releasing-greenhouse-gases/

Join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic Movement!

onegreenplanet.org

Plastic can be found in virtually every shape and form. It is a material that makes our lives incredibly convenient, but most people rarely think about the impact plastic has on the world around us.

Unlike other materials, plastic never really goes away. We love plastic because it is durable, waterproof, and versatile, but the downside of these qualities is that it lasts forever.

Plastic does not biodegrade and it takes hundreds of years for it to break down through a process of photodegradation. Basically, plastic can only disintegrate if it is exposed to UV rays which break its structural bonds apart – and even when this happens, it never truly goes away, it just becomes tons of microscopic pieces of plastic.
Marine Animal Extinction is the Real Cost of Convenience

Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled.
Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year!
700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion.
50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs.
By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste.

While efforts are being made to remove debris from the oceans, improve recycling systems and innovate barriers to prevent plastic from getting into waterways, we can all take action in our daily lives to stop plastic waste at the source.

“Plastic is ubiquitous in modern society and seemingly unavoidable. But is it worth risking the lives of marine species, the health of the oceans and our own future in the name of convenience? By taking baby steps to minimize hidden plastics in our lives, we can crush plastic at its source and help the world take a giant collective leap into a better future,” said Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet.

If we all take steps to identify where we use plastic and actively look for alternatives, we can drastically cut down on the amount of plastic pollution that finds its way into the ocean. The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic a year. If everyone in the U.S. alone were to stop using plastic that would keep over 555 billion pounds of plastic out of the oceans!

As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, One Green Planet believes that reducing hidden plastics from our lives is not about giving up anything or sacrificing convenience, but rather learning to reap the maximum benefit from the items you use every day while having the minimum impact.
5 Ways You Can #CrushPlastic in Your Daily Life

DIY your own cosmetics instead of buying ones in plastic tubes.
Try DIY-ing your shampoo and conditioner instead of buying plastic bottles.
Skip the plastic tube toothpaste and make your own!
Switch to bar soap and shampoo to avoid plastic packaging.
Use mason jars when grocery shopping to store all your bulk food items.
Use small cloth or reusable bags instead of produce bags when food shopping.
Replace your plastic food storage bags with stainless steel tins or mason jars.
Reduce plastic packaging in your cleaning routine by making your own natural cleaners.
Avoid microbeads in your exfoliating face or body wash.
Buy plastic-free beauty, hygiene, and cleaning products, like bamboo toothbrushes, plastic-free makeup brushes and natural material sponges.

For more information on how plastic harms oceans and marine animals, click the link

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/crushplastic/.

Disney to Eliminate Plastic Straws, Stirrers, and Styrofoam Cups in All Parks, Hotels, and Cruise Line!

onegreenplanet.org
Aleksandra Pajda
Disney has announced its commitment to making a positive impact on the environment by reducing plastic waste at their parks and other venues across the globe! The entertainment giant is cracking down on non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers, reducing the use of plastic bags, and eliminating polystyrene cups – all in the spirit of Walt Disney’s conviction that “conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns all of us.”

The company will eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers in all of its owned and operated locations globally by mid-2019. The change will reduce more than 175 million non-biodegradable straws and 13 million stirrers a year. The company has not yet revealed details as to possible alternatives.

Disney is also going to transition to refillable in-room amenities in its hotels and on cruise ships over the next few years. The switch is expected to reduce plastic in guest rooms by 80 percent. They will also slash the number of plastic shopping bags in their parks and cruise line, instead offering guests the option to buy reusable bags at a nominal price. Lastly, Disney pledged to fully end their use of polystyrene cups across all its global businesses.

“Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products. “These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”

Disney is also looking forward to making further progress on its overall sustainability goals. According to the company’s data, in 2017, it reduced its net greenhouse gas emissions by 41 percent and diverted almost 50 percent of waste from landfills and incineration.

“Disney has always been inspired by nature – and it is a uniquely powerful brand that inspires, educates, and entertains, all at the same time,” said Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. “Today’s announcement is more than about reducing single-use plastic waste, it’s also about showing millions of kids and adults from around the world the many ways we can change our daily habits to care for the oceans and protect nature that sustains us all. It also builds on Disney’s longstanding commitment to conservation and environmental stewardship, a legacy that stretches from the highlands of Peru to the islands of the South Pacific.”

In America, 500 million plastic straws are used every day! While it is wonderful to see companies take steps to eliminate unnecessary plastics, we can all make the same effort in our daily lives. To find out how you can be a part of the change by reducing your personal use of single-use plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/disney-eliminate-plastic-straws-stirrers-styrofoam-cup/

Image source: rgrivas/Pixabay

Petition update · WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! · Change.org

Jul 26, 2018 — Today ( 7/26/18 ) Disney announced that by Mid-2019, all plastic single use products will be banned at all Disney Parks, Hotels, and Cruise Ships! They said that they decided to ban plastic products after both Starbucks and McDonalds announced that they would also be banning plastic single use products. Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products said ” Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship.” Thank you to EVERYONE who signed my petition and bought my straws. I will still be fighting for the environment and am still selling reusable straws at http://www.holdthestrawplease.com to raise money for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. I have sold 50 bags of straws and need to sell 50 more to reach my goal! I recently visited their center and they said that they care for many animals affected by plastic pollution. Let’s keep fighting for what’s right and our environment!

https://www.change.org/p/13140106/u/23060474?utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_update&utm_campaign=387120&sfmc_tk=Y65ELrEVwnOSO7%2bDYTtOcS0UO3hpDIjzh%2fLSXRYXOsr5Efgm8oXexaBcV6xyJ8CA&j=387120&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=64756633&mid=7259882&jb=11

Petition: Nike, Just Do It! Commit to Using 100% Recycled Plastic

by: Care2 Team
target: Nike

Polyester plastic is used in about 50% of Adidas products. And if you consider the number of shoes and clothes the company makes a year that’s a lot of plastic.

But over the past few years, Adidas has stepped up to help our environment. In 2016 they stopped using plastic bags in all their stores. They have experimented with using biodegradable fabric that would disintegrate quickly after use. And recently the sports apparel giant partnered with an environmental group to make special edition shoes wholly made of recycled water bottles.

But now they are going a step further. The company has started to phase out using new plastic in their entire production line by the end of 2018. By 2024, the company hopes to use nothing but 100% recycled polyester in all their products.

Their decision to make the change couldn’t have come sooner. Plastics are wreaking havoc on our environment. Every day tons of the material ends up in landfills, or worse, in our oceans. In fact, according to experts, in the next three decades, there could be more plastic in our seas than fish.

If Adidas can make the switch, so can Nike. The iconic American brand is the largest sportswear producer in the world and has an enormous plastic footprint. In the past, they have used recycled plastics to make uniforms but they have yet to commit to making the “big switch” to using 100% recycled plastic in their entire production and product line like Adidas has just done.

Care2 wants to challenge Nike to follow in Adidas’ footsteps and commit to using only recycled plastics to make their products.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/883/104/352/

 

Autopsy Reveals The Death Of A Green Sea Turtle Was Due To Plastic

seavoicenews.com
all posts by Alex Larson →

Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources via ReReef

Last week we learned that news that a whale had died due to eating 80 plastic bags and now there is another example of the devastating impact plastic is having on the oceans.

Thailand’s marine officials announced in a report that a green sea turtle was found dead due to plastic that had filled the reptiles stomach.

The turtle was found washed ashore near Chonburi’s Lamchabang Port still living but two days later it died even after receiving medical attention.

Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources via ReReef

The autopsy revealed that was filled with items such as rubber bands, nylon rope, plastic bags and loose pieces of fishing gear. The department’s veterinarian team concluded that the sea creature suffered from a resultant loss of appetite and low levels of protein in its bloodstream, leading to cysts that ultimately resulted in heart failure.

Countries across the world are making a effort to reduce pollution by taking pivotal steps to clean up the environment. One of the many encouraging examples of this over the last year, is India who recently made the decision to ban all single-use plastic by 2022.

Unfortunately for the ocean and the marine life, we have gone way too long looking the other way from the problems we have created and we are now facing the reality where we are finding marine animals regularly dying due to what we have done to our planet.

You can start making a change immediately by saying no to single-use items, reducing plastic usage, and spreading the message of the negative impact single-use plastics have on the world’s oceans.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/06/12/autopsy-reveals-the-death-of-a-green-sea-turtle-was-due-to-plastic/

India Announces ‘Game-Changing’ Single-Use Plastics Ban

ecowatch.com
Olivia Rosane
India turned their hosting of this year’s World Environment Day into far more than a symbolic act when it announced plans Tuesday to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2022, UN Environment reported.

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day was “Beat Plastic Pollution,” and India’s decision could be a “game-changing” part of that effort, since it is home to 1.3 billion people and is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, head of U.N. Environment news and media Keith Weller told CBS.

“This has been the biggest, most resonant World Environment Day ever, thanks to the leadership of our global host India,” Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim said in the press release. “India has made a phenomenal commitment and displayed clear, decisive and global environmental leadership. This will inspire the world and ignite real change.”

The announcement was officially made by Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who touted it as a way to “achieve the India of our dreams.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke on the importance of combining economic growth with environmental action.

“It is the duty of each one of us, to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment,” Modi said. “The choices that we make today, will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”

In addition to the plastics phase-out, the country also joined UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign. India will develop action plans to combat marine litter at the national and regional level and measure the total amount of plastic pollution in the waters off of India’s 7,500 kilometers (approximately 4660 miles) of coastline.

Plastic pollution is a major problem in India, which generates 25,000 tonnes (approximately 27557.78 U.S. tons) of plastic waste every year and only recycles 60 percent of it, Vardhan said in an IANS article reprinted by the Economic Times Tuesday.

It is also an increasingly visible problem, as plastic increasingly clutters the country’s landscape and beaches. “There is a huge issue of waste management in India and everyone can see that; we went from train to Agra from Delhi and we saw. There was plastic all over the rails, that’s a problem,” Solheim told IANS.

India has taken some steps to counter plastic pollution already on a national and regional level. It banned non-compostable plastic bags in 2016, CBS reported.

According to a UN plastics report also launched Tuesday, regional bans have had various success. Of the 10 regional bans listed in the report, two bans, in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim, have seen significant to moderate results, while four bans, including one in New Delhi have had little to no impact, and four could not be assessed due to limited data.

https://www.ecowatch.com/india-plastics-ban-2575628410.html

Families around the world join war on plastic – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/05/families-around-the-world-join-war-on-plastic-in-pictures

Microplastics and Harmful Chemicals Discovered in Antarctic Ice … and Even Freshly Fallen Snow

onegreenplanet.org
Microplastics and Harmful Chemicals Discovered in Antarctic Ice … and Even Freshly Fallen Snow
Aleksandra Pajda
3-4 minutes

New research conducted by Greenpeace during its expedition to the Antarctic found plastics and dangerous chemicals in the most remote and seemingly pristine areas of the continent. Scientific analysis of water and snow samples revealed that the Antarctic is contaminated with microplastics, microscopic materials that no place on Earth seems to be free from anymore.

The majority of samples tested as part of the study contained plastic or persistent and potentially dangerous chemicals. Researchers found that seven of the eight tested seawater samples contained microplastics, with at least one microplastic fiber per liter. Additionally, microplastics were detected in two of the nine samples that had been taken using a manta trawl.

When it comes to chemicals, researchers reported that detectable concentrations of polyfluorinated alkylated substances, PFASs, were found in freshly fallen snow for almost all of the sites where samples were taken. PFASs are chemicals widely used in industrial processes and consumer products. The substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental issues in wildlife, and they degrade very slowly in the environment. The fact that these were found in freshly fallen snow suggests that some hazardous chemicals are atmospheric, not from a local source.

“We may think of the Antarctic as a remote and pristine wilderness, but from pollution and climate change to industrial krill fishing, humanity’s footprint is clear,” said Frida Bengtsson of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign. “These results show that even the most remote habitats of the Antarctic are contaminated with microplastic waste and persistent hazardous chemicals.”

In 2017, scientists found ice floes in the middle of the Arctic Ocean to be contaminated with plastic – unwelcomed proof that virtually no place is now safe from human-generated plastic pollution. The findings in the Antarctic are unfortunately more proof of this reality. Due to limited existing data on the presence of microplastics in the continent’s waters, the new findings are a significant addition to the knowledge on plastic pollution in the environment.

Microplastics accumulate in the environment and make their way up the food chain with ease. Mistaken for food or ingested accidentally, tiny pieces of plastic add up in animals’ stomachs and can cause health problems and even death. As humans, we are not safe from microplastics either – they have already been found not only to get into people’s diets through seafood but to also contaminate most of the world’s tap water and bottled water.

You can find the full “Microplastics and Persistent Fluorinated Chemicals in the Antarctic” report here.

Every year, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic, so it is up to all of us to put an end to this environmental scourge. To find out how you can help fight plastic pollution by ditching disposable plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/microplastics-harmful-chemicals-discovered-antarctic-ice/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=642fbf4340-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-642fbf4340-106049477

Image source: Free-Photos/Pixabay