Sign the Petition:Ask Target to Eliminate Plastic Bags They are Cho king the Earth

change.org

Customers Who Care started this petition to Target CEO Brian Cornell and 10 others
We, Target customers, ask Target to eliminate plastic bags.

We understand this won’t be convenient to us, but it is time to act. For those of us who also shop at Costco or IKEA, we know we can survive without plastic bags.

2 million single-use plastic bags are consumed every minute. These bags often wind up in waterways and our landscape, degrading water and soil as they break down into tiny toxic bits. These bags have a massive carbon footprint.

Switching to paper won’t help. The carbon footprint of paper bags is even bigger. Paper production uses trees that could instead be absorbing carbon dioxide, releases more greenhouse gases, takes 3 times the amount of water, and results in 50 times more water pollutants. Paper bags do not breakdown faster in a landfill and take more space.

If Target provides bags for purchase, we ask it to charge a meaningful amount because this approach works. Plastic bag use fell by 90% in Ireland following a plastic bag tax of 37 cents. In Australia, 2 major retailers led by eliminating plastic bags in their stores and the country reduced plastic bag use by 80% in 3 months. In Los Angeles county, a plastic bag ban with a charge on paper bags reduced single bag use by 95%. Target’s current 5 cent discount for those bringing bags does not meaningfully curb Target’s plastic bag consumption.

We want Target to act swiftly. Target’s plastic bags are choking the earth.

https://www.change.org/p/target-stop-filling-the-world-with-plastic-bags/sign?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=518517&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=HN59zdK007tLL%2bIgCs05Zf2QCitGoQRNqFyPCCIZ9%2b1o%2bDFBwMzR0h7VV9tdIc1W&j=518517&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=66848711&mid=7233053&jb=815

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Deadline to Sign Petition is Thursday April 18th -Demand Plastic Polluting Corporations Help Stop the Pollution Crisis

act.greenpeace.org

Our world is choking on throwaway plastic. From our parks, to our waterways and all corners of our oceans, the devastating impacts of plastic are mounting.

Despite our best efforts to avoid it, every day we are confronted with plastic packaging. We’re told recycling is the solution — but in Canada, only 10-12% of plastic is recycled. We’re urged to clean up plastic pollution in our communities — but the trash just keeps on coming.

The only way to break free from plastic pollution is to stop it at the source. Corporations must stop churning out single-use plastic in the first place.

Five cleanup and brand audit events held across Canada found that the top five companies contributing to branded plastic pollution are Nestlé, Tim Hortons, PepsiCo., The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s. They produce billions of single-use plastics annually, and not one of them has a clear plan to reduce their plastic footprints.

Add your name to demand these companies’ CEOs take responsibility for the plastic pollution crisis they’ve helped create.

https://act.greenpeace.org/page/31413/action/1?locale=en-US&utm_campaign=plastic&campaign_project=plasticpolluters&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_medium=email&utm_term=share&utm_content=link&content_specific=nestle.plasticmonster.delivery&ea.tracking.id=en_plastic_plasticpolluters_engagingnetworks_email_20190416_share_link_nestle.plasticmonster.delivery

Greenpeace Canada will respect your privacy and keep you up to date on our campaigns. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Recycle: Limiting & Eliminating

Blue Love Blog

I just started recycling about 6 months ago, and am baffled as to why I was never concerned with it before! I remember any time I moved, I would contact the county trash service and would always be asked, “Would you like to add a recycling bin at no additional charge?” I would always reply, “No thank you.” thinking that I would never remember to do it, and throwing things away were just “so much easier” in my mind. I never thought about the consequences of throwing things away that could be reused.

Why we should limit and eliminate our plastic use:

After researching facts documented in 2018, I’ve learned that over 8 billion tons of plastic each year is disposed of, and less than 10% is actually recycled. Of that 8  billion tons, almost 13 million tons each year is dumped into our oceans. This impacts marine animals, coral…

View original post 962 more words

Plastic Found In Marine Animals At The Oceans Deepest Depths – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
By Alex Larson

While plastics are most commonly seen in shallow ocean waters or discussion generally surrounds areas such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s important to not forget that plastic is literally in every part of our ocean, even the deepest depths.

A recent study published in Royal Society Open Science has found examples of microplastics in animals living in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the worlds oceans at 7 miles under the sea surface.

The team studied 90 deep-dwelling shrimp for microplastic contamination from six ocean trenches around the Pacific Rim. Unfortunately, even though these marine animals live miles under the surface from humans irresponsible habits of plastic usage, they still cannot escape.

“Half of me was expecting to find something but that is huge,” Alan Jamieson, from Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, said in a statement. Jamieson also added that majority of man-made items found in the shrimp were clothes fabrics such as nylon.

The research revealed that 72 percent of the shrimp tested contained at least one plastic micro particle with some containing up to eight particles. Every trench investigated had marine animals with plastic inside of them but the results did vary depending on how frequent plastic was found in the shrimp. For example, in the Mariana Trench, 100 percent of shrimp examined contained plastics while the shrimp from the New Hebrides Trench came out at a 50 percent rate.

“We are piling all our crap into the place we know least about,” Jamieson said, adding that it is hard to know how exactly it was affecting the creatures it contaminated. These particles could just pass straight through the animal, but in the animals we looked at they must be blocking them,” he continued.

While humans addiction to using plastic and continuing to dispose of it irresponsibly continues, the planets oceans will feel it the most. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish while many marine organisms can’t distinguish common plastic items from food. Animals who eat plastic often starve because they can’t digest the plastic and it fills their stomachs, preventing them from eating real food

We need to bring this issue to the forefront of discussion and you can help do that by saying no to single-use plastics in your own life and secondly, petitioning your local businesses and governments to reduce plastic usage or promote laws that prohibit usage.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/03/04/plastic-found-in-marine-animals-at-the-oceans-deepest-depths/

Plastic has a long lifespan. It’s probably shortening yours.

grist.org
By Paola Rosa-Aquino

It’s no secret that plastics are, well, not ideal. Do you know how long it takes for one of those pesky coffee pods to break down? 500 years i.e., the entire duration of the Roman Empire.

That lengthy lifespan of plastic spells big problems for human health. Ubiquitous marine plastic, for instance, degrades and fragments into microplastics that can seep into the food chain and end up in our bodies. That’s bad news for your hormones, as Grist’s Eve Andrews reported, since compounds in plastics can have endocrine-disrupting effects.

So far, much of the research on the impact of plastic on human health has focused on a specific moment in the plastic lifecycle — such as manufacturing, product testing, or disposal. But, according to a first-of-its-kind international report released on Tuesday, the true toll of these polymers should be calculated looking at the whole cycle of a plastic product’s existence, from wellhead to final waste.

The report, authored by the Center for International and Environmental Law in partnership with six other environmental organizations, finds that “each of those stages interacts with others, and all of them interact with the human environment and the human body in multiple, often intersecting, ways.”

The picture is pretty grim: Humans are exposed to a wide variety of toxic chemicals and microplastics along the plastic lifecycle through inhalation, ingestion, and direct skin contact. According to the report, health problems associated with plastics include numerous forms of cancers, neurological, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, diabetes, several organ malfunctions, and impact on eyes and skin.

And shifting plastics away from one area of exposure can end up exacerbating existing disparities. For instance, let’s say you don’t want plastics to end up in the ocean, so you decide to dispose of them by burning them. Those fumes create new types of harmful chemical exposures (such as toxic air emissions, ash, or wastewater). So sure, some folks will have fewer microplastics in their seafood, but now the people living near incinerators (primarily low-income communities and communities of color now) will bear the brunt of that noxious witches’ brew.

While plastic is the material du jour in part thanks to its cheap convenience, the true cost of plastics has not been reflected in the price at the till. “Plastics are harming or killing animals around the globe, contributing to climate change and keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, entering our air, water, and food supplies, and seriously jeopardizing human health throughout their lifecycle,” said Graham Forbes, Global Plastics Project Leader for Greenpeace, in a press release.

So, is there some sort of end-all-be-all solution for this? Alas, as David Azoulay, director of environmental health at CIEL pointed out in a press release, “No global instrument exists today to fully address the toxic life cycle of plastics.”

Thankfully, more and more ventures are crawling out of the woodwork to try to ameliorate the problem, from reusable packaging to … wait for it … edible packaging. I mean, would you shell out a few extra bucks to eat your food wrappers? I know I would.

https://grist.org/science/plastic-has-a-long-lifespan-its-probably-shortening-yours/

This Lent, some Christians are giving up plastic – The Washington Post

a0fdbb6c6bc74138dcaf67820effae1b89876d66

Acts of faith

(Wilfredo Lee/AP)
By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
March 5 at 2:08 PM
Chocolate, alcohol and Twitter are some of the popular indulgences many Christians give up during the period of Lent leading up to Easter. But this year, some churches are encouraging congregants to give up plastics.
Dozens of Pennsylvania churches near Pittsburgh that belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are encouraging their churchgoers to forgo commonly discarded single-use plastics. Each week, parishioners will be encouraged to give up a different item: shopping bags, drinking straws, water bottles, Styrofoam and food wrappers.
The Rev. Sarah Rossing, pastor of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Youngstown, Pa., said the idea originally came from a similar challenge that the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh issued this year to reduce dependence on single-use plastics such as grocery bags and Styrofoam plates.
“It’s a way to think about it as more than just a personal thing, like chocolate or alcohol that’s enjoyable,” Rossing said. “This is asking people to give up convenience … and be more intentional with things and the Earth.”
Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday and runs during the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday on April 21, marks a period of time when some Christians reflect on the biblical story of Jesus’ time in the desert, where he fasted and prayed before his eventual death and resurrection. Many Catholics and some Protestants give up something during the period.
Last year, the Church of England urged its worshipers to give up single-use plastics, distributing a calendar with environmentally themed Bible verses and suggestions on how to avoid using plastics. This year, the church is encouraging congregants to go on “litter pilgrimages” where they walk together, pray together and collect litter.
The Cathedral in the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado as well as several Protestant churches in Portland adapted the Church of England’s calendar for their own use and are also encouraging parishioners to give up plastic this Lent.
The world produces more than 300 million tons of plastic each year, and scientists estimate that up to 91 percent of plastic is never recycled, threatening the environment and poisoning animals. Plastics don’t biodegrade and can stay in landfills for hundreds of years. Several cities, including Washington, have banned Styrofoam containers and are taking action to limit other single-use plastics, such as straws and grocery bags.
On Ash Wednesday, the Episcopal Church will launch a “Creation Care Pledge” inviting members to pledge to environmental activism, such as using a carbon tracker and reducing meat consumption.
Lent can serve as a time for Christians to reflect on how our ordinary way of living has become destructive of God’s creation, says Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary who has written a book on Lent.
“Christians have to resist the dominant world of commoditization in every way that we can think to do,” Brueggemann said. “Fasting is a discipline that gives energy for positive engagement with justice questions. The question is, what does it empower us to do?”
Among Christians in the United States, Catholics (61 percent) are most likely to observe Lent, according to a LifeWay Research survey in 2017. Protestants (20 percent) and Christians with evangelical beliefs (28 percent) are less likely to observe the period.
Stanley Hauerwas, a professor emeritus at Duke Divinity School who has written books on virtue, said that giving up plastic is straying too far from what Lent was meant to be.
“They’re giving up plastic as a way of doing something that seems to make the world a better place. It’s a confusion of categories,” Hauerwas said. “Giving up plastic is aimed at a different set of problems than what Lent is about. Lent is about confession of sin.”
Some churches in the Washington area have caught on to the trend of merging environmental activism and Lent, said Joelle Novey, director of the Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light. She said she didn’t initially think of tying repentance and deprivation to ecological concerns, “but the idea of taking responsibility and ‘fasting’ some aspects of our unsustainable lifestyles seems to resonate deeply in many Christian communities.”
During Lent, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in the District will host five workshops covering solar energy, green homes, green community, green world and green yards. And instead of giving something up like chocolate, parishioners have been encouraged to take a leaf from a cardboard cutout of a tree with an environmental change to make. At Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in North Bethesda, church leaders are asking congregants to fast from single-use plastics, especially straws. And at St. John Neumann in Reston, the Catholic parish will have meatless soup suppers each Friday during Lent using washable ceramic bowls, spoons and water tumblers instead of single-use disposable plastic and paper items.
For Christians who participate in Lent, fasting from a favorite food or beverage (57 percent) and going to church (57 percent) are the most common ways for them to observe the period, according to LifeWay. Additional prayer (39 percent), giving to others (38 percent) or staying away from a bad habit (35 percent) are also popular.
The idea of giving up food, especially sugar and alcohol, since they were associated with feasts, has its roots in early Christian traditions, according to Aaron Damiani, pastor of Immanuel Anglican Church in Chicago, who wrote a book on Lent called “The Good of Giving Up.” By the late second century, Christians fasted for 40 hours, going without food and drink between the afternoon of Good Friday and morning of Easter. Two centuries later, fasting was extended to the whole Lenten season.
“One of the objections to Lent is it’s a trend, that it’s a gimmick, that it’s a flash in the pan that will not have substance to it,” said Damiani, who recommends Christians follow the early Christians in prayer, fasting and almsgiving, or giving money. “This is an ancient practice that the early church found a lot of benefit in. Participating in the life of Christ through training is not a trend.”
The Rev. James Martin, a popular author and priest who is an editor at large for America magazine, said he hasn’t heard of any Catholic parishes encouraging giving up of plastics for Lent but that he thinks it would be in the spirit of Pope Francis’s major document on the environment that came out in 2015.
“Giving up plastic would benefit the common good more than giving up chocolate,” Martin said.
Spiritual preparation for Lent is more than simply giving something up, though, Martin said.
“It’s about your relationship with God. That’s more than simply self-sacrifice,” he said. “If you’re confused about what to do for Lent, just be kind. You can give something up, but doing something positive is just as important.”

https://archive.li/bk5p5

Scott Clement contributed to this report.
washingtonpost.com
© 1996-2019 The Washington Post

These Five Companies Are Leading The Charge On Recycling

forbes.com
Hernando Cortina
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

With scientists predicting that if nothing changes in our plastic consumption habits, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish by 2050, it’s not surprising that this year’s Earth Day theme is End Plastic Pollution. According a recent study from Science Advance, since the invention of plastic in 1907, 8.3 billion metric tons of virgin (non-recycled) plastic have been produced, generating 6.3 billion metric tons of waste, 79% of which has piled up in landfills while just 9% has been recycled. A total of 12 billion metric tons are expected to be in landfills or the environment by 2050 if current production and waste management trends continue.

While we are all, as individuals, accountable for our contribution to the planet’s pollution and waste buildup, large corporations play a critical role in either damaging or protecting the environment. At JUST Capital, we’ve heard from the American people – across all demographics – that environmental impact is one of their top concerns when it comes to just corporate behavior.

As part of our analysis and ranking of corporations in the Russell 1000, we look closely at companies’ environmental practices – including their waste and recycling programs. Of the 875 companies we analyzed, just 136 have disclosed both the total amount of waste produced and recycled within a given year (i.e. the latest year they’ve disclosed), and we’ve found that, of the total waste produced by those companies, about 54% is recycled.

These corporations – the largest in the United States – are producing a tremendous amount of waste, and the way it is managed and disposed is likely to critically impact the future of our planet. Here are five leaders that stand above the rest for their environmental stewardship, particularly when it comes to waste management:

These companies:

Recycle more than 85 percent of their waste.
Have made a strong commitment to environmental practices by establishing environmental management systems that include objectives, targets, monitoring and measurement, audits, training, performance records, etc.
Have received external certification (including to the ISO 14001 standard) of their environmental management systems across the majority of their facilities.

These companies are also leaders in our overall rankings, with four in the JUST 100 (including Intel and Texas Instruments at #1 and #2, respectively), and Eaton not far behind, suggesting that environmental leadership is an integral part of overall just business behavior.

We’ve dug into what makes these five companies unique in their efforts to minimize impact, finding notable transparency around their waste and environmental management systems. Here’s what sets them each apart:

Accenture

1st in Environment, 15th Overall in our Rankings

According to Accenture’s 2017 Corporate Citizenship report, the company has made considerable progress toward reducing its environmental footprint and fostering sustainable growth, particularly with regard to carbon emissions – reducing 52% in CO2 emissions per employee. Among Accenture’s top priorities are its reuse and recycling efforts – including the management of e-waste and water.

Intel

2nd in Environment, 1st Overall in our Rankings

Intel continually strives to improve its operations and minimize its impact on the environment. Since 2008, Intel has recycled more than 75% of the total waste generated by its operations, and in an effort to reduce waste in 2013, the company linked a portion of employees’ compensation to solid waste recycling metrics. Intel aims to achieve zero hazardous waste to landfill by 2020, and recycling rates of 90% for non-hazardous waste.

Estee Lauder

3rd in Environment, 84th Overall in our Rankings

Estee Lauder’s Global Environmental and Safety (EAS) team has a strong record of minimizing waste, and continues to identify new ways to improve recovery and diversion rates. Since 2003, the company’s 23 owned manufacturing and distribution facilities have sent zero waste to landfill, and any waste that cannot be recycled is incinerated and converted to energy. At its industrial sites, the company achieved a recycling rate of 88.5% in 2016, and has set a target of 90 percent for 2017.

Eaton

5th in Environment, 183rd Overall in our Rankings

Eaton’s waste reduction efforts are geared toward supporting its operations as well as the communities where employees live and work. Since 2015, Eaton has reduced the waste sent to landfill by its operations from 33,400 to 25,100 metric tons, a 24.9% reduction. More than 120 of its facilities send zero waste to landfill, and the company seeks to increase this in the near term by another 20 sites.

Texas Instruments

6th in Environment, 2nd Overall in our Rankings

With a strong history of environmental stewardship, Texas Instruments makes significant investments to efficiently use, reuse, or recycle materials across its operations, and reduces its potential environmental impact by sourcing materials responsibly, as well as appropriately managing waste handling and disposal. Each major production site around the world operates a robust recycling program for industrial and nonindustrial waste – for example, recycling water used in the fabrication process by feeding utility plant cooling towers.

This year, as we reflect on how we can all strive to #BreakFreeofPlastic, the work of these companies is already moving the needle – significantly reducing the amount of waste produced and sent to landfill by their operations. Corporations across America stand to learn by the example of companies like these, and JUST Capital will continue to track how they lead the charge in environmental impact, as well as in their efforts to build and drive more just business practices overall.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/justcapital/2018/04/20/these-5-companies-are-leading-the-charge-on-recycling/#740ee72323ec#740ee72323ec

This article features research from Sam Schrager, JUST Capital Director Metrics & Data Analytics.

‘Naming and shaming’ is a powerful tool in the fight against plastic waste

Katherine Martinko feistyredhair February 11, 2019

Companies will do anything to protect their brand – maybe even redesign packaging.

Taking a stance against a giant, when you’re only a normal-sized human, requires sharp strategy. Thankfully, Froilan Grate has plenty of that.

Grate is a community activist in the Philippines who has made it his mission to fight the plastic pollution that is overwhelming his homeland. It all started when he moved to the capital for school at age 18. In an interview with NPR, he described the shock of entering Manila Bay and seeing garbage everywhere.

“He felt sick. ‘The contrast of where I grew up, beautiful white sand beaches, clear water, and arriving in Manila where it’s black water with countless plastic, that was shocking to me.’ His first thought at the time, he says, was that his own island would someday end up strewn with plastic as well. His next one was: What can I do to stop it?”

For years Grate headed up local initiatives to improve recycling practices and infrastructure. He spoke to groups about lifestyle changes that would cut down on waste, and joined an organization called the Mother Earth Foundation, working with waste-pickers to get formal employment and better working conditions.

Despite his efforts, every tide brought a fresh wave of garbage to Filipino shores. Grate said, “You realize that despite everything that you do, you really aren’t solving the problem.” He understood that cleanup efforts would never get at the root problem.

That’s when an idea occurred to him. Rather than just collecting plastic trash and removing it to a landfill site, why not leverage the information that came with all that trash and use it to pressure manufacturers to change? That’s when Grate began conducting brand audits – recording the names of the companies that made each individual item and publicize it.

“They feel there is value in brand,” Grate says of the companies. Consumers trust brands. “We wanted to use it against them.”

Manila Bay brand audit© Richard Atrero de Guzman/Greenpeace – Thousands participate in the Manila Bay clean-up and plastic waste brand audit in Roxas Blvd, Metro Manila.brand_audit.jpg.860x0_q70_crop-smart

It was an astute move. As Grate and his team persevered, the rest of the world started to notice. A list began to circulate of the brands responsible for most waste in the Philippines. These are:

Nestle, 16.74%
Unilever, 10.82%
PT Torabika, 10.17%
Universal Robina Corporation, 9.75%
Procter & Gamble, 7.19%
Nutri Asia, 4.74%
Monde Nissin, 4.87%
Zesto, 4.44%
Colgate Palmolive, 4.25%
Liwayway, 2.87%
Peerless, 1.94%
Mondelez, 1.65%

NPR writes, “It’s dirty work — eight days of community trash spread in piles on the concrete floor of a fenced-in outdoor basketball court. It stinks; workers wear masks and gloves.” But the effort paid off. Suddenly the power imbalance had shifted. No longer were the bigwigs in corporate offices impervious to the complaints of people on the ground, the same people who had to live daily with the tangible consequences of poor design.

Grate was invited to Washington, D.C., to sit down and talk with the heads of the same companies he was publicly shaming about the problem of plastic pollution. NPR asked Grate if the brand audits had triggered the meeting:

“They weren’t happy about it,” he said of the audits. “And they have questions,” he added, about how his group does them. “But I would say this: The brand audits contributed to the pace of the discussion that’s happening right now.”

brand audit in Philippines© Richard Atrero de Guzman/Greenpeace – Thousands participate in the Manila Bay clean-up and plastic waste brand audit in Roxas Blvd, Metro Manila.

Shame is not always an effective tool for change. In personal relationships, it usually causes people to shut down and become defensive. But as in this case, when the power imbalance between corporation and consumer is so great, and when the consequences of a company’s actions are actively harming the consumer and undermining their quality of life, shame can be necessary and justifiable.

Progress is happening slowly. Look at British chip-maker Walker’s, who was pressured by a social media-driven campaign into redesigning its non-recyclable bags. Unilever and Nestlé have both signed on to the Loop project that will offer limited products in refillable packaging.

This holds a valuable lesson for all of us. While not littering remains a decent rule by which to live, we need to shift our focus to the drivers of this waste and not allow them to blame us for not picking it up or sorting it properly. If packaging cannot be recycled or composted, it shouldn’t be used. These companies have the resources with which to develop better alternatives, but up until now they’ve lacked the motivation to do so.

Shame, however, can be a powerful motivator, so don’t hesitate to point fingers when it comes to plastic. Take a page out of Grate’s book and call them out on social media. Post pictures and ask questions. Demand better. We deserve it, and so does our planet.

Companies will do anything to protect their brand – maybe even redesign packaging.

https://www.treehugger.com/plastic/naming-and-shaming-powerful-tool-fight-against-plastic-waste.html

Plastic is toxic at every stage of its life cycle

treehugger.com
Katherine Martinko feistyredhair February 22, 2019

At no point does it ever stop harming us.

In case you had any doubts about how bad plastic really is, a new study out of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has just revealed that plastic is toxic at every stage of its life cycle.

The 75-page document is a sobering read. It points out the shortsightedness of focusing on specific moments in the plastic life cycle, rather than the entire picture. We know that oil refining, microplastics, plastic packaging, and recycling are huge problems on their own, but put them all together and you have an even more dire situation on your hands.

The report reveals “numerous exposure routes through which human health is impacted at each stage”. In other words, quitting single-use disposables and living zero-waste doesn’t mean you’re safe. Your health – and that of your family – continues to be affected by plastic in ways you might not even realize. These include:

Extraction and Transportation of fossil feedstocks for plastic, which releases toxic chemicals like benzene, VOCs, and 170+ fracking fluid chemicals into the air. These are inhaled or ingested, leading to immune dysfunction, cancer, and neuro-, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, among other things.
Refining and Manufacturing of plastic resins and feedstocks is linked to “impairment of the nervous system, reproductive and developmental problems, cancer, leukemia, and genetic impacts like low birth weight.”
Consumer use of plastic products exposes users to countless unnamed chemicals (which are not listed as ingredients), heavy metals, carcinogens, and microplastics. People ingest, inhale, and touch these to their skin.
Plastic waste management, especially “waste to energy” incineration, releases toxic chemicals into the air, which are absorbed by soil, air, and water, causing indirect harm to people and communities nearby (and sometimes far away).
Fragmenting of plastic results in microplastic pieces entering the environment and human body, leading to “an array of health impacts, including inflammation, genotoxicity, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and necrosis.”
Degradation of plastic results in more chemical leaching. “As plastic particles degrade, new surface areas are exposed, allowing continued leaching of additives from the core to the surface of the particle in the environment and the human body.”

Where does one even begin with this information?

In a way, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. We know plastic is an environmental scourge with real health implications, but to see it analyzed so comprehensively makes the issue more urgent than ever.

The study authors call for plastic exposure to be treated as a human rights issue, saying we need laws that require accurate information about what goes into plastic products at all stages of manufacture and transparency in the development of solutions.

Von Hernandez, global coordinator for the Break Free From Plastic movement, is quoted in the report’s executive summary:

“It is shocking how the existing regulatory regime continues to give the whole plastic industrial complex the license to play Russian roulette with our lives and our health. Plastic is lethal, and this report shows us why.”

Dire as it may be, we cannot let it overwhelm or discourage us. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, and this report offers precisely that. Individuals, communities, health care providers, and policy makers can use it as an effective negotiating tool when it comes to confronting the companies and corporations that continue to churn out plastic at high rates. And confront them we must – especially now that we know what’s at stake.

At no point does it ever stop harming us.

https://www.treehugger.com/plastic/plastic-toxic-every-stage-its-life-cycle.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=30ae1a3107-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-30ae1a3107-243719061

Greenpeace Ships Set Sail to Tackle the Global Plastic Pollution Crisis

ecowatch.com
Tavish Campbell attaches a GPS tracker onto ghost fishing nets in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Justin Hofman / Greenpeace

By Graham Forbes

Corporations have created a plastic monster. More than 90 percent of the plastics ever produced have not been recycled, yet corporations have plans to dramatically increase their production of plastic packaging. With plastic production set to quadruple by 2050, recycling can never be enough to solve this problem.

But the global movement to hold these corporations accountable is growing. More than 3 million of you have joined us in urging companies to stop polluting our planet with throwaway plastic. And together with over 1,400 allies in the global Break Free From Plastic movement, we conducted 239 cleanups in 42 countries to identify the biggest corporate polluters.

In October, Greenpeace International released the Crisis of Convenience report, based on a survey to 11 of the biggest fast-moving consumer goods companies globally. Despite some of these companies publicly signing a voluntary, non-binding commitment to tackle the crisis, the report revealed that none of the companies surveyed currently have comprehensive plans to move away from single-use packaging; on the contrary, most of them have plans to increase the overall amount of plastic packaging they produce.

So now we are deploying the Greenpeace ships; the Rainbow Warrior and the Beluga, to tell the global story of where plastic pollution really starts and ends. We are rallying supporters worldwide to help hold these companies accountable and to make sure they follow up on their words with bold action. Because we don’t need more talk—we need concrete, urgent action to stop plastic pollution at the source!

Greenpeace’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, has been surrounded by giant single-use plastic items in Mediterranean waters. The action seeks to make visible the invisible, and to denounce the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans, especially in the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s time for Nestlé, Unilever, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo., Colgate, Danone, Johnson & Johnson and Mars to be transparent about exactly how much plastic packaging they are producing, and make concrete plans to reduce. It’s time for these corporations to invest in alternative ways to deliver their products to us and phase out single-use plastic.

These companies have created a monster, and we are not willing to allow the plastic monster to grow anymore. We need concrete plans for reduction, and we need them now. We need corporations to slay the plastic monster.

Stay tuned for more details about Greenpeace’s ships’ whereabouts in the coming weeks and months and to see how you can get involved!

https://www.ecowatch.com/greenpeace-ships-plastic-pollution-2628640357.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=5db0be179a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-5db0be179a-86074753

Graham Forbes is Greenpeace’s global seafood markets project leader.

New Study Finds MicroPlastics in Every Sea Creature Tested

firepaw.org

Published by firepawinc View all posts by firepawinc

The disturbing results from a new study revealed plastic in every sea creature tested…

A Hundred Percent of Dolphins, Whales and Seals Tested had Microplastics in their Bodies.

A team analyzed a total of 50 animals across 10 species for their research published in the journal Scientific Reports. Microplastics were defined in the study as fragments measuring up to 5 millimeters (0.2 inches).

The samples used in the study were taken from 50 animals by members of the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) and the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme. Both projects are based in the U.K.

Of the plastics found in the sea creatures, 84 percent were synthetic fibres which generally originate from products such as clothing and fishing nets. The remainder of the contaminants were what the scientists described as fragments, likely to come from food and drink packaging.

A separate piece of research by scientists at the University of Plymouth, U.K., found billions of nanoparticles contaminated shellfish exposed after six hours. The research was published last year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Journal Reference: Nelms, S.E., et al. (2019). Microplastics in marine mammals stranded around the British coast: ubiquitous but transitory? Scientific Reports, 9, Article number: 1075.

https://firepaw.org/2019/01/31/new-study-finds-microplastics-in-every-sea-creature-tested/

Ben & Jerry’s to Phase Out All Single-Use Plastic Utensils Worldwide!

onegreenplanet.org
By Sharon Vega

In the last few years, Ben & Jerry’s has released many dairy-free ice cream flavors. And they continue making more, just recently adding another flavor to their line of dairy-free ice cream. Given that the dairy industry is harmful to the environment, this was a progressive move in the right direction. Now, they will be doing even more for the environment and setting an example for other companies by removing all single-use plastics from their Scoop Shops.

Ben & Jerry’s has more than 600 stores worldwide. They will phase out single-use plastics from their stores one step at a time. In August 2018, they made plastic straws available by request only with many of the shops having plastic alternatives, but the first step of the new plan is to no longer offer plastic straws or spoons beginning early this year. On April 9, 2019, Scoop Shops will complete the transition to wooden spoons and paper straws will only be available by request. The ultimate goal is to find an alternative to clear plastic cups, plastic-lined cups, and plastic lids by the end of 2020.

Source: Shutterstock

“Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops currently hand out 2.5 million plastic straws a year, and 30 million plastic spoons. If all the plastic spoons used by Ben & Jerry’s in the US were placed end to end, they’d stretch from Burlington, Vermont to Jacksonville, Florida,” explained Ben & Jerry’s Global Sustainability Manager, Jenna Evans. She said, “We’re not going to recycle our way out of this problem. We, and the rest of the world, need to get out of single-use plastic.”

Ben & Jerry’s is a very well-known brand and their analysis of their own contribution to plastic pollution and plan to make a change is just the example the world needs right now. As Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group said, “Across the globe, discarded plastics are choking our environment and threatening wildlife. The only solution is to stop using them.”

For more information on plastic pollution and why the elimination of single-use plastic is such an important and necessary change, check out 5 Realities About Plastic Pollution That Won’t Go Away Until We Do Something and These 5 Marine Animals Are Dying Because of Our Plastic Trash… Here’s How We Can Help.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/ben-jerrys-to-phase-out-all-single-use-plastic-utensils-worldwide/

Sign Petition: Seals Didn’t Evolve to Survive the Threat of Plastic

thepetitionsite.com

The seals of Waxham Beach in Norfolk are facing a deadly new predator. It attacks when they least expect it, wraps itself around their necks and slowly but surely strangles them to death.

This threat is so fatal precisely because evolution never prepared them for it. What is it, you ask? Plastic.

According to Friends of Horsey Seals — a local seal rescue charity — plastic waste on UK beaches have hit record levels. Thus there’s a growing number of seals that have come to shore recently with plastic material wrapped around their bodies. Whether it’s an old frisbee, fishing line, netting or a plastic bag, once the plastic gets around the animal’s body, it slowly tightens as the animal grows, cutting deep into its skin, hindering its mobility, causing infections and resulting in a slow and painful death.

That’s what would have likely happened to Pinkafo — the female seal pictured above. If Friends of Horsey Seals hadn’t rescued her in time, she would have eventually died an agonizing death, painful and unrelenting as the frisbee slowly dug into its skin. Luckily, she is now being nursed back to health, although it will be months before she is completely healthy.

Despite being ahead of the pack in terms of anti-plastic policies, UK beaches are still inundated with plastic debris. Debris that often ends up around the necks of marine animals. So while last year, the government announced that they were banning single-use plastic items like drink stirrers, straws, and cotton buds and have implemented a 5p bag charge that has reduced plastic bag usage there is still more they can do to help end their plastic addiction.

One thing they could do is ban single-use plastic bags altogether. Over the past several years governments as disparate as Rwanda, Kenya, California and Washington D.C. have implemented plastic bag prohibitions with stunning results. It’s now time for the UK to do the same.

Tell the government you want them to take action to fight their plastic addiction. Sign the petition and tell Parliament to #banthebag.Photo credit: Matthew Perring and the RSPCA

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/297/760/032/seals-didnt-evolve-to-survive-the-threat-of-plastic/

Sea Turtles Have A One In Five Chance Of Dying If They Eat Just One Piece Of Plastic – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com

by Alex Larson →

For the first time, researchers have pinned down just how damaging plastic is to marine animals. In a new study conducted by researchers at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, they have discovered that a sea turtle that has ingested just one piece of plastic has more than a one in five chance of dying after consuming just one piece of plastic

The study was conducted by analyzing nearly 1,000 sea turtles that were found dead on beaches in Australia. What the researchers discovered was that the more plastic a turtle consumes, the great the likelihiod that it will die due to plastic. While this seems obvious, this is the first time scientists have been able to specifically say that the plastic leads to the death of turtles.

Of the 246 turtles examined, 58 contained debris. The count and mass of debris ranged from a single piece to 329 pieces, weighing between <0.01 g to 10.41 g.

“We knew that turtles were consuming a lot of plastic, but we didn’t know for certain whether that plastic actually caused the turtles’ deaths, or whether the turtles just happened to have plastic in them when they died,” said Dr Chris Wilcox, Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere.

The scientists found that once a turtle had 14 plastic items in its gut there was a 50% likelihood that it would cause death. However, that’s not to say that a turtle won’t die if they consume less than 14 pieces of plastic.

Sea turtles in all seven seas are impacted by the plastic and a recent study found that in 100% of turtles tested across three ocean, plastic was found in each one of them.

Currently there is 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.

“The model we’ve developed can be adapted to help us understand the impact of plastic ingestion not just on individuals, but whole populations of other endangered marine species as well.” Said Wilcox.

“The better we understand the issue, the better equipped we are to address the problem, and work towards viable, scalable solutions.”

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/27/sea-turtles-have-a-one-in-five-chance-of-dying-if-they-eat-just-one-piece-of-plastic/

New Bill Proposed In Florida That Would Ban The Use Of Plastic Bags And Straws – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →

A newly proposed Florida state bill would ban the use of plastic bags and straws throughout the state. As a good majority of Florida’s borders are covered in ocean coastline, if passed this would be a huge win for marine conservationists and marine animals.

Currently there is 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.

Marine life in turn eats that plastic as they believe it is a food source causing severe sickness or death for millions of animals each year. A recent study found that 100% of turtles tested across three oceans all contained microplastics inside of them.

Microplastics occur due to the salt and acidity of the oceans which breaks plastic down into small “microplastic” pieces, causing a real dilemma for the planets wildlife. While the plastic breaks into smaller pieces, it does not dissolve as it takes hundreds of years for plastic to decompose in the ocean.

The bill, Senate Bill 502, was proposed by Senator Kevin Rader and proposes to prohibit all stores and food services from using plastic bags and plastic straws.

The best thing thing Florida citizens can do right now is to call your representative and let them know that you want to see this bill passed. The more they hear from their citizens in support of the bill, the more likely they are to pass the bill.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/27/new-bill-proposed-in-florida-that-would-ban-the-use-of-plastic-bags-and-straws/

Whole Bottle Of Water Found In Monkfish In South Korea – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →

A whole 500ml plastic bottle was found inside the stomach of a monkfish by a fisherman in South Korea. The monkfish was caught in the coastal town of Buan-Gun near North Jeolla.

The discovery even shocked the fisherman whom. have seen plastic pollution overwhelming the once plastic-free sea. They are hoping the incident is a wake-up call for governments to actively fight to reduce plastic usage.

The monkfish is known for their wide mouths where they frequently swallow other species of large sea creatures such as squid and flatfish. When in water, plastic pollution is easily mistaken as a form of food creating a huge problem to the predators of the ocean.

Environmental activists call for a “systemic response” from the government to ensure safe disposal of plastic waste.

“Hwang opened the fish and found a plastic bottle, so he sent me a picture,” said Lee In-gyu, a member of the North Jeolla branch of the Korean Federation of Environmental Movement.

“It shows that the issue of marine waste in Korea is quite serious.”

Local fishermen consider the waters near Buan County a rich fishing area.

“We find more plastic and garbage in fish these days,” said Hwang.

“I found vinyl products, cans, and plastic pieces in some fish, and this is not limited to monkfish.

Earlier this week, a sperm whale off the Indonesian coast was washed ashore with nearly 6 kg of plastic material, including 115 plastic cups.

To reduce plastic pollution, it is up to us to push large companies and governments to monitor and reduce usage. You can help by writing, calling, tweeting, emailing and trying to communicate the need to end the growing problem. We can solve this problem but nothing will be done if we the people do not push for a change.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/11/24/whole-bottle-of-water-found-in-monkfish-in-south-korea/

Australian City Has Installed Innovative System To Reduce Trash Flowing To The Ocean – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →

City of Kwinana Facebook Page

An Australian city is taking an innovative method to reducing trash flowing from mainland to the ocean by creating a sewer system that blocks and catches any plastic or trash.

The system was installed by the Australian city of Kwinana in the Henley reserve and uses a exceptionally simple system to help keep the oceans cleaner.

The system consists of a net that is placed on the outlet of a drainage pipe which catches trash and prevents it from flowing further.

Unfortunately, trash will always find its way on the side of highways, in residential areas and just about anywhere there is human activity. When heavy rains come through, the trash is picked up and washed to the nearest sewer system where it will eventually find its way to a river and the ocean. The system uses the power of the rain and water flow to collect the trash in a simplistic and effective manner.

Via Storm Water Systems

The city started by installing 2 nets and were shocked to find how effective it was. Within a couple of weeks, more than 800 pounds of garbage was collected within several weeks.

While the upfront cost of these can be expensive at a price tag of roughly $10,000 each, the system does save money in the long run as it prevents spending of restoration in rivers and the oceans due to garbage pollution and saves in labor as the nets now due the job that several people would have been doing before of collecting the litter.

Via Storm Water Systems

Once full, the nets are being collected where the city picks out the recyclable items, then moves to be further processed.

Ideas like this is what will drive humans to help make up for the pollution problem worldwide. While cleaning out the oceans is extremely important, we will only be chasing our tails if we do not solve the problem of reducing the trash entering in the first place. Well done Australia.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/21/australian-city-has-installed-innovative-system-to-reduce-plastic-flowing-to-the-ocean/

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/

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&amp;utm_campaign=c669446345-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;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&amp;utm_medium=tweet&amp;utm_campaign=plastic_invaders_global_spotlight_s&amp;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/