Act Now to Protect Birds and Habitats from Plastic Waste

act.abcbirds.org

Tell Congress to Save Birds from Plastic Waste

Every year, 17 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment. Despite efforts to promote recycling, less than nine percent of plastics in the U.S. are actually recycled.

Birds are particularly vulnerable to plastic pollution. Many seabirds, like Laysan Albatross, are seriously injured or killed when they ingest or become entangled with plastic trash.

To address the plastic pollution crisis, Congress has introduced the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (S.984/H.R.2238). This bill would put the onus on manufacturers to take care of the plastic waste that they produce, ultimately reducing the amount of plastic that gets into our oceans and the toll it takes on birds.

Take action today: Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and ask them to pass the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act. Read More

https://act.abcbirds.org/a/take-action-plastics

Caring for the Earth: Plastics | Dolphin Project

Plastic washes ashore after a storm, Ocean Beach, San Francisco

www.dolphinproject.com

Post By:Cara Sands

Microsteps are small, incremental, science-backed actions we can take that will have both immediate and long-lasting benefits to the way we live our lives. ~ Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global

In honor of both Earth Day and Dolphin Project’s birthday (April 22), we’re looking at ways we can fine-tune our daily habits to help protect our planet. In this blog, we’re focusing on our use of plastics.

You might have read of two recent instances in March where whales washed up dead, their stomachs filled with plastics. In the Philippines, a Cuvier’s beaked whale was found with 88 pounds of plastic inside its stomach, and in Sardinia, Italy, a pregnant sperm whale was found dead with almost 50 pounds of the deadly material in its body. Amongst the items found were fishing nets and lines, tubes, rice sacks, grocery bags, garbage and other all-purpose plastic bags, tubes, banana plantation bags and a bag of washing machine liquid.

Dead female sperm whale with nearly 50 pounds of plastic in her stomach, Sardinia, Italy.

Dead female sperm whale with nearly 50 pounds of plastic in her stomach, Sardinia, Italy. Credit: SeaMe

Similar discoveries have been made in 2018 in Spain, Indonesia and Thailand. Several politicians, including Sergio Costa, the Environmental Minister of Italy is calling for a war on disposable plastics. In many locations across the world, bans have been enacted on plastic bags, cutlery, straws, stirrers and other single-use plastics. Yet despite these interventions, it is estimated that more than 8 million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism. According to some estimates, by 2050, the world’s oceans will carry more single-use plastic than fish.*
*Source: United Nations Environment Programme

Micro plastic, Long Beach, WA

Micro plastic, Long Beach, WA. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license; user: OceanBlueProject.org

As deadly as large plastic items are to marine life and their ecosystems, so are microplastics – small, plastic pieces less than five millimeters long. Primary microplastics are designed to be small, such as tiny beads of manufactured polyethylene found in toothpaste and other personal care items. Secondary microplastics are plastics that have degraded over time from larger pieces into progressively smaller ones. In both instances, the small particles make their way into the oceans and the Great Lakes.

Watch a short video on microplastics, credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

One World One Ocean Plastic Infographic

Credit: One World One Ocean, MacGillivray Freeman Films

There are many simple behaviors we can partake in on a regular basis – some that can easily become daily habits – to help protect the world upon which we, and all other species live. We’ve compiled a brief list for you but we encourage you to brainstorm and create others. It’s these microsteps that when combined, can create positive, long-lasting change.

  • Start your morning with a cup of coffee? Use ground beans versus single coffee pods and if possible, recycle the used coffee grounds. If visiting your local coffee shop, bring your own mug – you might even get a discount for doing so!
  • Be a conscious consumer – Make a point of avoiding plastic packaging, excess packaging and buying individual items wrapped in plastic. Don’t be shy about asking your local grocery store to stop wrapping individual food items in plastic. Are there any businesses you can think of that make a point of using minimal packaging and if so, consider supporting them with your hard-earned dollars. Consider making bulk purchases and always bring your own reusable bags. There are also great alternatives to plastic wrap and plastic storage baggies, including glass containers, reusable storage bags and natural food wraps.
  • BYOB – Bring your own refillable water bottle instead of carrying around a plastic water bottle. Besides cutting down on waste, think of the money you’ll save in the long run.
  • Dining out? Be sure to decline plastic ware at restaurants if you’re getting food to go (most restaurants automatically toss in plastic utensils). Request minimal to-go packaging or if you’re dining out, bring your own reusable container to bring home your leftovers. Consider bringing your own kit of utensils if you’re heading out to lunch.
  • Make it a family affair – Support a cause you feel passionate about by shopping for eco-friendly gear such as eco-friendly totes and reusable straws. There are also great bar soaps and shampoos that don’t require a plastic bottle! They are also perfect for travel. Dolphin Project est. 1970 eco-friendly toteDolphin Project est. 1970 eco-friendly tote
  • Educate – Planning a birthday party or attending another event? Be sure to skip the balloons as they pose serious risks to wildlife. Be sure to tell your guests why!
  • Participate – Coordinate or participate in a clean-up of your local waterway. Earth Day is every day and doing something good for yourself or others is always timely!
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – Reduce the amount of waste your family generates and consider composting. Educate yourself on local recycling laws. A large amount of recyclables are inadvertently contaminated with soiled or non-recyclable items, which leads large amounts to be trashed as waste.
  • Attend a council or committee meeting of your local government and ask what laws/by-laws exist regarding single-use plastics.
  • Don’t litter – and if you see someone else’s garbage, take a moment to pick it up and dispose of it responsibly.

(Video)

https://hlsrv.vidible.tv/prod/5c99067a8c3ae84e7b88f31c/2019-03-25/hls/playlist_v1.m3u8?PR=E&S=evsfCFuNRXS2SkhLXMuTeDHN0M5tBT_HRFYgRYz1aAnaTW-27Qjr4x38fEq99G_q  

Collectively, if we implement even one or two of these habits each day, not only will we help to protect marine life and their environments by reducing plastic pollution, we can contribute towards a healthier lifestyle, foster stronger community ties and enjoy a greater sense of well-being. When we do good, we feel good and this positive feedback encourages us to do more.

Featured image: Pieces of plastic wash ashore after a storm, Ocean Beach, San Francisco,  Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license; user: Kevin Krejci

https://www.dolphinproject.com/blog/caring-for-the-earth-microsteps/

Sign Petition: Corporations made us swim in plastic. Now make them pay to clean it up.

www.thepetitionsite.com

Once it’s created, plastic never leaves the Earth. It never biodegrades. It never reduces into organic matter or fertile soil. Over time, it breaks down further and further into infinitely smaller pieces — but it always exists. In fact, through this process, it even finds its way into our bodies, getting lodged in our organs, through our tap water, bottled water, and foods — including table salt, seafood, and even beer.

Similarly bad: often, plastic doesn’t even get recycled. And when it does go through the energy-intensive process of transforming it from one petroleum-based product into another, that’s often on the taxpayers’ dime… even though it’s corporations that have created all these nasty plastic waste in the first place.

There’s something fishy about that, especially considering that due to these corporations’ plastic obsession, plastic is quickly becoming the most abundant “fish” in the oceans (set to outnumber real fish within the next 29 years). A new study has shown that just twenty firms are responsible for 55% of the world’s plastic production!

Sign the petition to demand that U.S. state governments force plastic-producing corporations to pay for the costs they’ve inflicted on our environment! They made the mess. Now they should shoulder responsibility for cleaning it up.

When recycling even happens, it is not free — or cheap. Local towns and cities that often already have limited budgets have to scrounge to come up with the resources to deal with all the plastics we pile up. As a result, many areas of the U.S. refuse to even collect some types of plastic, meaning they go straight into the trash.

But we didn’t end up here by accident. Huge conglomerates have spent generations shrouding all of their products in plastic, whether it’s water or soda, Amazon gadgets or clothing, take out meals, grocery items like vegetables and meat, or really any other thing that can be produced and sold. Corporations have also spent generations telling us that it’s our fault. If only we, each individual single consumer, would have recycled things the right way, or cleaned our plastic waste enough before disposal, the Earth would be clean and unpolluted and everything would be fine.

What an epic way to pass the buck.

The U.S. is a huge contributor to global pollution and waste — including plastic waste — and these corporations’ insistence on using plastic at every turn is a big reason why. That’s why nine states across the U.S. — including California, Colorado, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington state — are trying to pass bills known as “extended producer responsibility” laws. This type of legislation really just means: pushing the responsibility for the plastic waste that corporations create… back onto the corporations.

If they’re going to make these wasteful choices, they need to bear that burden. And maybe, in the process, companies will start to rethink how heavily they rely on plastic in the first place.

As we all know, corporations rarely ever change without being forced to by government laws. That’s why it’s so important for states to pass these extended producer responsibility laws now!

Tell lawmakers in California, Colorado, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington state to pass “extended producer responsibility” laws now to place the burden of responsibility for plastic pollution back onto the companies that created it in the first place!more

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/612/464/401/?z00m=32755965&redirectID=3120126697

petition: Big Australian Companies Are Not reaching Plastic Reduction Targets and Not Being Held Accountable For Plastic Use!

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: Federal Environmental Minister Sussan Ley

Large companies in Australia like Coca-Cola and Nestle or any earning over 5 million dollars per year have to reach packaging targets in regards to the amount of plastic being produced. Australia is likely to miss all of its own targets to rid the environment of plastic, unless there is a major and immediate overhaul of its management and enforcement of existing laws.

Act Now! Urge the Federal Environmental Minister Sussan Ley to enforce stricter rules surrounding the plastic reduction targets for large companies in Australia

Under the Australian Governments current approach, companies that produce and use packaging and have an annual turnover greater than 5 million dollars can either sign up to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APCO) or choose to be regulated by states and territories under national laws introduced in 2011. WWF Australia found that the states and territories were not enforcing these laws resulting in a system characterised by free riders were brands can volintarily meet APCO targets or be governed by regulations that arent enforced.

This loose and unregulated approach to plastic use has meant that many companies are not declaring their plastic use as it surpasses the Plastic Reduction Targets. Large companies are making profit and not being held accountable for the amount of plastic they are putting on the market, this needs to stop immediately if Australia want to be more sustainable country. 

Sign Now! Urge Sussan Ley to review the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 and make changes to hold big businesses accountable for their plastic use!EMBED

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https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/682/141/209/?z00m=32711619&redirectID=3097146522

Good News on Plastic Pollution

Tell Whole Foods: Put our planet over plastic

Dear CEO John Mackey,

Our oceans — and the whales, dolphins and sea turtles that live in them — are choking on plastic trash. We need to turn off the tap on the 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution that enter the ocean each year, and you can play a leading role by eliminating single-use plastic packaging.

Nothing that is used for just a couple of minutes should pollute our rivers and oceans for hundreds of years — especially when we don’t need it. If we’re going to protect ocean ecosystems, we need companies to make bold, concrete commitments to reduce and ultimately eliminate single-use plastic packaging. I’m urging Whole Foods to be a leader once again. Please eliminate all single-use plastic packaging from your operations.

https://environmental-action.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=41600&supporter_KEY=1220798&uid=0d0236e6916ce0fdcb06085fe49b10fc&utm_source=salsa&utm_medium=email&tag=email_blast:88324&utm_campaign=EAC4-FWST:SOLIDWSTRED:PLASTIC-0121&utm_content=EM9:00C:0HH-CCE

Petition To Save Our Seas from Marine Debris

takeaction.oceanconservancy.org

Save Our Seas from Marine Debris

It probably comes as no surprise to you that plastics have been found nearly everywhere in our ocean—from the deepest reaches of the Mariana Trench to the most remote Arctic ice. Marine debris and plastic pollution pose a serious threat to our ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Congress has taken on the issue of marine debris through the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act. The Senate passed the legislation unanimously, and now it is up to the House to pass the bill so that it can be signed into law!

Will you take action and tell your Representative to support this legislation?

Your Representatives need to hear from their constituents that the issue of marine debris and plastic pollution is a problem that you want them to tackle. The bill:

  • Proposes a variety of new measures to bolster international engagement and cooperation to research and address the marine debris crisis;
  • Commits resources to scientific research to better understand solutions to plastic pollution, both here in the U.S. and around the world; and
  • Proposes a host of new efforts here at home to improve our waste management systems, particularly recycling infrastructure. For example, the bill creates a loan program for states to support trash wheel and litter trap technologies.

The Senate has already taken decisive action in the fight against marine debris by passing this important legislation. It is now up to the House of Representatives to vote on this bill so that it can be passed into law.

Take action today!

https://takeaction.oceanconservancy.org/page/65538/action/1?ea.tracking.id=20LPHCKAXX&utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=202008_SOS2Sharks&utm_content=20200812-SOS2Sharks-Prospects-Email1B-20LPHCKAXX&ea.url.id=4860330&forwarded=true

160 turtles caught in plastic waste rescued from Bangladesh beach

phys.org

  1. Ecology
2 days ago

The Olive Ridley turtles floated to shore at Cox’s Bazar with a huge mass of plastic bottles, fishing nets, buoys and other debris

About 160 sea turtles, many of them injured after getting entangled in plastic waste, have been rescued after washing up on one of the world’s longest beaches in Bangladesh, an official and conservationists said Wednesday.

The Olive Ridley turtles began floating to shore at Cox’s Bazar with a huge mass of plastic bottles, fishing nets, buoys and other debris at the weekend.

Survivors were released back into the Bay of Bengal, but some were returning to the beach that stretches 120 kilometres (75 miles).

About 30 had died and were buried in the sand.

“This is the first time we have seen such a large-scale death and washing up of injured turtles on the beach. It is unprecedented,” said Nazmul Huda, deputy director of the local environment department.

“Around 160 turtles have been rescued alive… but after their release in the sea, some of these turtles have come back to the beach. I think they are too weak to stay in the sea.”

Many of the turtles sustained injuries from being caught in the estimated 50 tonnes of waste floating in a 10-kilometre stretch along the coast.

“Some of the turtles did not have legs or heads,” said Asaduzzaman Sayem from local conservation group Darianagar Green Boys.

“We rescued a 40-kilogramme (88-pound) turtle alive. It was entangled in plastic nets and it did not have legs.” Many of the turtles washed up on the beach in Bangladesh sustained injuries from being caught in the estimated 50 tonnes of waste floating off the coast.manyofthetur

 

Leading Bangladesh turtle and tortoise expert Shahriar Caesar Rahman of the NGO Creative Conservation Alliance said the creatures were “heavily stressed” and may not survive even after being freed from the waste.

“Local volunteers are trying their best to release them in the sea. But considering the injuries of these turtles it is unlikely they will survive,” he told AFP.

“So the best long-term solution will be to establish a rescue and rehabilitation facility for these turtles in Cox’s Bazar.”

The government is investigating why the turtles came ashore and sent two carcasses to a state-run university to be examined.

But Rahman said he believed the turtles may have become stuck in a massive plastic garbage patch floating in the sea.

“In the long term if we don’t manage pollution in the Bay of Bengal, many of these marine species will face similar fate,” he said.

Olive Ridleys are the most abundant of all sea turtles around the world, according to conservationists.

But their numbers have been declining and the species is recognised as vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.

https://phys.org/news/2020-07-turtles-caught-plastic-bangladesh-beach.amp?__twitter_impression=true

Sign Petition Tell Coca-Cola you DO NOT want plastic bottles!

change.org

Sign the Petition Ashley Boeka started this petition to Coca-Cola At Davos 2020, Coca-Cola’s head of sustainability, Bea Perez, said that Coca-Cola will not stop producing single-use plastics because consumers “still want them.” She went on to say that it would alienate customers and impact Coca-Cola’s bottom line. “Customers like them because they reseal and are lightweight.” Needless to say, this is a disheartening thing to hear from the person in charge of sustainability at one of the largest companies in the world. Coca-Cola is one of the worst contributors to plastic pollution, producing about three million tons of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute. In 2019, it was found to be the most polluting brand in a global audit of plastic waste by the charity Break Free from Plastic. Although Coca-Cola has made a pledge to recycle as many plastic bottles as possible by 2030, they are still flagrantly contributing to the world’s plastic waste, at a time when our planet cannot afford for LITERALLY ANYONE to solely be concerned about their cash flow. Coca-Cola is one of the most profitable companies in the world – they should be able to find a new, sustainable way to bottle their products to the satisfaction of their consumers. It’s the least they can do. Tell Coca-Cola that you DO NOT want them to produce or sell plastic bottles. Sign and Share today to say NO to Coca-Cola’s Plastic Plans.

https://www.change.org/p/tell-coca-cola-we-do-not-want-plastic-bottles

New Research on the Possible Effects of Micro-and Nano-plastics on Marine Animals

iaea.org

Jennet Orayeva, IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications 3 minutes


According to the UN Environment Programme, 8 million tonnes of plastic end up the world’s oceans every year, often carried there by rivers. If the trend continues, by 2050 our oceans could contain more plastic than fish.

Environmental plastic pollution has become a major ecological and societal concern. Plastic pollutants vary widely in size, from large debris, such as fishing nets and single-use plastic bags, to invisible nano-sized plastic particles. While the visible impact of large plastic debris, so-called macroplastics, in marine environments has been well documented, the potential harm caused by microplastics and even more by nanoplastics is much less clear.

Plastic particles below 5 mm in length are called microplastics. The smaller ones, with a size equal to or less than 100 nm (1/10 000 mm) are called nanoplastics. They are so tiny that one cannot see them with naked eye or even with an ordinary optical microscope.

Microplastic particles are accidentally consumed by marine organisms, which are then consumed by predator fish. Nanoplastic particles are even more toxic to living organisms as they are more likely to be absorbed through the walls of digestive tracts and thereby transported into the tissues and organs. Consequently, such plastic particles can interfere with various physiological processes, from neurotransmission to oxidative stress and immunity levels of freshwater and marine organisms.

Over the last decade, the global scientific community has invested substantial work into advancing the knowledge of the impact of plastic debris on diverse aquatic organisms. However, monitoring methods for small microplastics and nanoplastics are still in the development phase, which means that their exact concentration in the oceans remains unknown.

“This is where nuclear technology can play an important role,” added Metian. “Nuclear and isotopic techniques are already successfully used to study pollution processes. Their advantage is that they are highly sensitive and precise and can be used similarly to study small microplastic and nanoplastic movement and impact.”

At the same time, from a toxicology perspective, it is important to distinguish the toxicity of plastic particles per se from the toxicity associated with the contaminants that can become attached to them. To date, research into the effects of virgin micro and nano-sized plastic particles in freshwater and marine fish is still limited, hence the increased focus on investigating the toxicity of virgin plastics at the IAEA.

Join them live 2 p.m. EDT April 22

This Earth Day Watch The Story of Plastic Pollution

This resolution is easy to keep doing the whole year through!

15 Ways to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Tell Amazon To Stop Polluting Our Planet With Single-Use Plastic Packaging

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Tell Amazon To Stop Polluting Our Planet With Single-Use Plastic Packaging
If you are one of Amazon’s 100 million+ customers you have probably received your fair share of unnecessary plastic packaging from the ecommerce giant. From polystyrene packing peanuts to non-recyclable bubble wrap to plastic-wrapped pouches of air, nearly every Amazon order arrives buried in heaps of wasteful single-use plastic packaging.

And all of this pointless plastic packaging that is designed to be used once and then tossed will plague our planet for generations to come.

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday (two of Amazon’s biggest money-making days of the year) approach, we are calling on the ecommerce giant to STOP polluting our planet with pointless plastic packaging.

Plastic pollutes across its lifecycle, from extraction to use and disposal. More than 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution ends up in our oceans each year, and plastic packaging is a huge contributor.

As more and more people turn to the internet for their shopping needs and as Amazon’s share of the ecommerce market steadily grows the tidal wave of pointless plastic packaging polluting our planet will only continue to mount.

Unless we as consumers DEMAND CHANGE.

Sign our petition to join us in telling Amazon to STOP polluting our planet with single-use plastic packaging.

https://p2a.co/plasticfreeamazon

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Plastic Pollution

Sign Petition: Protect Wildlife – Keep Plastic Water Bottles Out of Our Parks

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: National Parks Service

130,000 GOAL

The Trump administration continued its assault on the environment with the recent announcement that it was reversing a 2011 policy that encouraged national parks to stop selling plastic water bottles.

While the original policy wasn’t an outright ban, 23 national parks, including Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, restricted water bottle sales, helping alleviate pollution and harm to the environment and wildlife.

Please sign this petition asking the National Parks Service to allow parks to ban plastic pollution!

Plastic water bottles have no place in our national parks. We already know that the production of plastic and the subsequent pollution caused by the improper disposal of plastic severely harm our environment. On top of that, plastic is a killer to wildlife. Animals often mistake plastic bottle caps for food, resulting in intestinal blockages and other injuries.

The Trump administration needs to stop trying to turn back time. We are moving away from our reliance on plastic, and more people are carrying refillable water bottles every day. Our national parks need to focus on providing water to park visitors in ways that don’t hurt our environment or wildlife.

Please sign this petition and let the National Parks Service know that you want to keep plastic water bottles out.

120,363 supporters

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/393/047/932/?TAP=1732

 

This group is teaching new sailors how to tackle plastic pollution

By Paola Rosa-Aquino on Aug 27, 2019

The Bronx’s City Island docks are a strange mixture of outer-borough New York and New England coast. There are crusty boatyards and pristine yacht clubs, seedy seafood joints and fancy oyster bars, “my she was yar” schooners and “I’m on a boat” party cruisers. But the love of the ocean has always had the ability to bring disparate-seeming forces together — including, in this case, climate activism and the American Sailing Association.

On a recent summer morning, I headed to the docks to watch Captain Dave Jenkins of Soul Sailing prepare a small sailboat. Life vests and nautical maps in hand, Jenkins — a charismatic middle-aged man decked out in an appropriate sailing ensemble (boat shoes included) — boarded a vessel which was moored at the Harlem Yacht Club. We had been going back and forth for months trying to find the right time to head out on the water, only to be forced to reschedule several times due to unfavorable weather conditions. First it was the cold, then the heat, then torrential rain — the kinds of extremes that climate scientists say we should expect more of in the near future.

But on that day, with the sun shining bright and a slight breeze in the air, Jenkins assured me conditions were “ideal for sailing.”

“This is my playground,” Jenkins said of the open water. But it’s not just his alone — the way he sees it, the water belongs to everyone. He takes his sailboat, the Betty Lou, out regularly, showing students how to explore the five boroughs by way of its many waterways. While many people think of sailing as an exclusive endeavor, Jenkins says there are ways to keep the sport accessible. For example, there are a lot of old sailboats out there that sell for cheap and don’t require expensive fuel compared to one of those pesky motorboats.

“There’s so much to do in the city, they forget about the sixth borough — the water,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins’ love of the water is infectious. But in order for future generations to continue to enjoy it, he knows seafarers like himself need to do more than attract new talent. They also need to keep the ocean as clean as possible. And so every time he takes the sailboat out to open water, whether he’s hanging out with friends or instructing students, he keeps an eye open for any plastic debris.

Grist / Paola Rosa-Aquino

Jenkins says cleaning up trash while you are out on the water is something many sailors have been doing for a long time. But thanks to a new ocean cleanup program by the American Sailing Association, one of the world’s biggest coalitions of sailing enthusiasts, trainers, and charter companies, the habit is becoming formalized.

The group started the crusade, called Operation Plastic Pollution Purge, last year. The campaign, which, according to the American Sailing Association’s website, has exposed around 111 million people to the concept of ocean conservation, urges boaters to reduce or eliminate the number of plastic items they bring on their vessels and to collect and properly dispose of any trash they see while they’re out on open water. It’s an especially important value to instill in new sailing enthusiasts, and something organization says it is uniquely situated to do given its 300 schools and 7,000 instructors.

“It has to start with one person, and what better group of people than sailors,” Lenny Shabes, CEO and founder of the American Sailing Association, told Grist.

Granted, not all types of boats are great for the environment. Big cruise ships, for example, run off of diesel fuel and can actually end up being more harmful to the planet per mile even compared to air travel. But sailboats are largely wind-powered, and when decked out with solar panels like the one currently transporting 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City, can provide a net-zero means of transportation even across long distances.

More than that, Shabes says sailing can benefit the planet because it can make people realize they have a special responsibility to the water. “It’s a very spiritual thing. There’s no propulsion involved, other than what the good earth gives you. The difference between living in New York City and going sailing in the Long Island Sound, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world to sail is immense. To see it become polluted because some yahoo doesn’t care and throws the plastic bottle overboard — it irks me.”

And between the planet’s warming waters and humanities’ growing trash problem, the oceans need all the love they can get. Scientists don’t know exactly how much plastic trash is in the ocean, but some estimates suggest that as much as 244,000 metric tons might bob on the surface. Another 8.5 million metric tons are though to settle on the ocean floor per year. The United Nations estimates that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic debris in our oceans than fish.

“It’s as if you took a New York City garbage truck and dumped it full of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day,” Jenkins said.

If that trash stays at sea, it could cluster up in trash hot spots, the most famous of which is a swirling mass of garbage twice the size of Texas. The patch is located somewhere between California and Hawaii called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. There, currents deposit waste like abandoned fishing gear, bottles, and tiny pieces of pulverized plastics.

Back at the City Island docks, Jenkins and I were just about ready to set sail on our trash-finding venture. As the Betty Lou pulled out from the Bronx and into the open water, it felt like an escape from city life. To the east lay the Sound, Connecticut to the north and Long Island to the south. We headed toward the Long Island Sound.

Jenkins surveyed a nautical chart as we headed south and the ship neared the Throgs Neck Bridge. It wasn’t long before we spotted our first piece of refuse — a bright yellow bag floating on the waves. Jenkins quickly redirected the Betty Lou, grabbing a handy net. As we cruised by, he dipped it into the water and lifted it up to reveal a soggy bag of Funyons. After about three hours of sailing, we’d amassed a modest bag’s worth of trash. Jenkins said that if we’d gone sailing on a Monday after people were in surrounding beaches over the weekend, he would have expected even more prices of plastic surrounding the ship.

Of course, it will take more than a few sailing trips to solve the ocean’s plastic problem. That’s why many countries are either restricting or even wholesale banning single-use plastics. But Bonnie Monteleone, executive director of the Plastic Ocean Project, says these small-scale clean-ups can still do a lot of good. As part of a separate cleanup effort, she hired charter fishermen to pick up trash they see offshore. “Just that exposure of getting people to become aware of how much trash is out there — I call it “the magic eye,” Monteleone told Grist. “Once you do you can’t unsee it. I think any opportunity that will get people out on the water [for this kind of effort] will cast a wider net and get more people proactive at picking up what they see. “

And the stakes are high: The billions upon billions of items of plastic waste choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and piling up on land is more than unsightly and harmful to plants and wildlife. According to Lauren Coiro, the American Sailing Association’s marine conservationist, plastic Pollution is a very real and growing threat to human health. “In terms of the health of marine life, it’s not good,” Coiro told Grist. “In terms of our own health, it’s not good.”

Indeed, the toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and can be found in the blood and tissue of nearly every one of us. Exposure to these substances is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and a whole slew of other ailments. What’s worse, instead of breaking down, plastic breaks into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics, making it even harder to clean up.

But on a macro level, ocean cleanups can still do their part to help rid the ocean of its plastic scourge. And who better to lead the way than people who are already on the waves? “Sailors are naturally a really easily motivated group of people,” Coiro says. “When we asked sailors to start talking about this and take leadership … a lot of sailors [were] happy to do it..”

At the end of our rendezvous on open water, Jenkins packed the sails away, a process that requires the utmost care to avoid twists, tears, and tangles. With the lines finally coiled and the sails covered, and Betty Lou was tucked in for the day — but perhaps not for long.

If weather conditions are favorable, Jenkins says he’ll go back out and do the same thing all over again tomorrow.

https://grist.org/science/american-sailing-association-ocean-plastic-program-cleanup/

Join The Grassroots Movement for Clean Oceans and Beaches Around the world…. Barrel Bag Made From Recycled Plastic for Beachgoers to Use to Help Clean Up the Beaches ⛱️☀️


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Stingray Found Dead With Stomach Containing a Book, a Camera, a Bottle, and a Packet of Cigarettes – WORLD OF BUZZ

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Published June 16, 2019By Alief Esmail

There is no more denying the fact that we are fully responsible for all the bad things happening to our animal friends. More and more animals are suffering as a direct result of our own ignorance. The war against plastic is happening at full force but we need to do even more before its too late.

Another sad reminder has surfaced recently, where the carcass of a stingray was found dead and after further investigation, its stomach was found to contain full of random objects which might have been thrown by irresponsible individuals. Here are some of the pictures shared by 5 Minutes Beach Clean Up on Instagram.

From the pictures shared, it can be clearly seen that the stingray died from swallowing a pack of cigarettes, a book, an empty bottle and lastly a digital camera!

Poor stingray!

Although the location of the incident happened cannot be determined, the book has what appears to be Mandarin hanzi printed on it. In any case, this is a grim reminder for all of us.

Stingray Found Dead With Stomach Containing A Book, A Camera And A Bottle. – WORLD OF BUZZ 5

We only have one Earth and every living creature on this planet has a vital role. What is the point of being the most powerful creatures on earth, if we only use that power to destroy everything we touch?

Most of us have already started to do something in order to save the environment but we need to step it up! Let’s do this for our future ok?!

Also read: 40kg of Plastic Waste Found in Stomach of Whale That Died From Starvation

Stingray Found Dead With Stomach Containing A Book, A Camera And A Bottle.

https://www.worldofbuzz.com/stingray-found-dead-stomach-containing-book-camera-bottle-packet-cigarettes/?fbclid=IwAR35dzJHuuuCHO6XWUPbqmDqjSywLVb5XAna8CBpBi-kPxySfuzzLqtUG3I

“Co-Founder Alex Schulze Talks All Things 4ocean”

Remote Island Chain Has Few People — But Hundreds Of Millions Of Pieces Of Plastic

npr.org
Christopher Joyce Twitter
Debris blankets the north side of one of the Cocos Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean. Researchers found a huge amount of plastic both onshore and buried in the sand.

When a marine biologist from Australia traveled to a remote string of islands in the Indian Ocean to see how much plastic waste had washed up on the beaches, here’s just part of what she found: “373,000 toothbrushes and around 975,000 shoes, largely flip-flops,” says Jennifer Lavers of the University of Tasmania in Australia.

And that’s only what was on the surface.

The Cocos Keeling Islands make up barely 6 square miles of land, about 1,300 miles off the northwest coast of Australia. It was a good place to measure plastic waste because almost no one lives there. That meant the plastic debris there wasn’t local — it floated in — and no one was picking it up. It gave Lavers a good notion of just how much was bobbing around the ocean.

She was flabbergasted.

“So, more than 414 million pieces of plastic debris are estimated to be currently sitting on the Cocos Keeling Islands, weighing a remarkable 238 tons,” Lavers says.

There are 27 of these islands, most just a few acres in size. Lavers’ team of researchers studied seven of them, mostly in 2017, by marking off transects on beaches and counting all the plastic inside each transect. They multiplied that number by the total beach area of all the islands. Lavers had done this before on other remote islands. “You get to the point where you’re feeling that not much is going to surprise you anymore,” she says, “and then something does … and that something [on the Cocos Keeling Islands] was actually the amount of debris that was buried.”

Where Will Your Plastic Trash Go Now That China Doesn’t Want It?

Lavers didn’t just count the stuff on the surface, she dug down 4 inches into the sand. “What was really quite amazing was that the deeper we went,” she says, “the more plastic we were actually finding.” What happens is that the sun breaks down the plastic on the surface, and the waves pummel it into tiny pieces and drive it into the sand.

“It’s the little stuff that’s perfectly bite-sized,” Lavers says. “The stuff that fish and squid and birds and even turtles can eat.”

Brightly colored pieces of microplastic mar one of the 27 islands in the Cocos Keeling chain. Much of the plastic is hidden under the sand. The sun breaks down plastic debris, and the tiny pieces get buried in the sand.

Brightly colored pieces of microplastic mar one of the 27 islands in the Cocos Keeling chain. Much of the plastic is hidden under the sand. The sun breaks down plastic debris, and the tiny pieces get buried in the sand.

In fact, most of the plastic waste was just under the surface. “We estimated that what was hidden below the sediment was somewhere in the range of 380 million pieces of plastic,” Lavers says. But it probably won’t stay there. Eventually, she predicts, high tides or storms will carry it out to sea.

Lavers describes what her team found in the journal Scientific Reports.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that no place on the planet seems immune from plastic debris. Ecologist Chelsea Rochman at the University of Toronto studies microplastics and says different places simply have different kinds of plastic.

Microplastic Found Even In The Air In France’s Pyrenees Mountains

Take the Arctic, for example. “Contaminants are transported via air currents in addition to ocean currents,” Rochman explains. “And there [in the Arctic], we see high concentrations of small microfibers and small particles, and so, absolutely, you expect different things in different places. And what you find tells you something about where it’s coming from.”

Rochman says she’s not exactly surprised at what Lavers found. “It’s just kind of sad to kind of read about it and think, ‘Yep, OK, this is becoming, I guess, normal.’

“And we never wanted something like this to become normal.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/05/16/723641299/remote-island-chain-has-few-people-but-hundreds-of-millions-of-pieces-of-plastic

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 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

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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

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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/