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

seavoicenews.com

by Alex Larson →

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson
2 minutes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018: A Year of Fighting Plastic Waste

ecowatch.com
Olivia Rosane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#ChaoBolsasPlásticas http://www.youtube.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call for a Plastic-Free Future – Greenpeace International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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