litter tagged posts

414 million pieces of plastic found on remote islands in Indian Ocean

On the beaches of the tiny Cocos (Keeling) Islands, population 600, marine scientists found 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes.

A comprehensive survey of debris on the islands – among the most remote places on Earth, in the Indian Ocean – has found a staggering amount of rubbish washed ashore. This included 414m pieces of plastic, weighing 238 tonnes.

The study, published in the journal Nature, concluded the volume of debris points to the exponential increase of global plastic polluting the world’s oceans and “highlights a worrying trend in the production and discharge of single-use products”.

The lead author, Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania’s Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, said remote islands without large populations were the most effe...

Read More

Ian Kiernan: The man who wanted to clean up the world

Ian Kiernan founder of Clean up the World

Prominent environmentalist Ian Kiernan, the founder of an iconic Australian anti-litter campaign that expanded into a global success, has died aged 78. The round-the-world yachtsman began the Clean Up Australia and Clean Up the World campaigns after being appalled by levels of ocean rubbish in the 1980s.

In 1994, he famously helped come to the rescue of Prince Charles when a protester rushed at him, firing a starting pistol, on a stage in Sydney.

Mr Kiernan had been enduring cancer.

“While we will deeply miss Ian’s guidance and humour, it was his greatest wish that the work he inspired continues,” Clean Up Australia said in a statement on Wednesday.

His first clean-up event took place around Sydney Harbour in 1989, with more than 40,000 volunteers clearing rubbish from the shoreline.

It h...

Read More

The Ocean Cleanup Project: What It Is and What You Can Do

You may have seen that the internet has been buzzing about The Ocean Cleanup Project. However, even if you’re familiar with the term, it can take a lot of research to truly understand what the Ocean Cleanup Project really is. We’ve done that work for you and gathered all the information you need to get up to date on The Ocean Cleanup Project, discuss the garbage issues plaguing our oceans, and decide how you can help with this issue. If you’re interested in learning about the Ocean Cleanup Project, its origins, what it does, how you can be a part of it, and in gaining a better understanding of the seriousness of the issue of trash in our oceans, read on!

What Is The Ocean Cleanup Project?

In 2013, the Ocean Cleanup Foundation was established by an 18-year-old dutch inventor named B...

Read More

Hard Coral Could Help Determine Extent of Microplastic Pollution

Michael Lombardi

The hard coral off the shores of southern New England isn’t nearly as glamorous as its tropical counterparts — in fact, it’s barely noticed even by experienced divers — but it could play a vital role in determining the size and depth of the world’s plastic footprint.

“Coral can’t run, so it makes for a good model to see how much plastic is in a particular habitat,” said Randi Rotjan, a research assistant and professor of biology at Boston University. “My guess is that coral takes in a lot of plastic because it can’t run away from it.”

ecoRI News recently met up with Rotjan, Boston University research technician Cara Johnson and Michael Lombardi of Middletown-based Ocean Opportunity Inc...

Read More

Plastic from Europe and US is in the Arctic

Polar Bear eating plastic

Plastic waste entering the seas from both sides of the North Atlantic is accumulating in the Arctic Ocean, where it can damage local wildlife.

The low population of the Arctic Circle means little plastic waste is generated there. However, a new study has shown that the Greenland and Barents Seas (east of Greenland and north of Scandinavia) are accumulating large amounts of plastic debris that is carried and trapped there by ocean currents.

The new study, published today in Science Advances, found that the Greenland and Barents seas have accumulated hundreds of tons of plastic debris composed of around 300 billion pieces, mainly fragments around the size of a grain of rice. The vast majority of these fragments originate form the North Atlantic.

The team behind the study is composed of resea...

Read More

Whale found dead with 30 Plastic bags in stomach

Stranded whale

Researchers in Norway were in for a shock when they discovered more than 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste inside the stomach of a whale. The whale, which had been put down by wardens off the coast of western Norway, had clearly consumed a huge amount of non-biodegradable waste.

Despite the grisly findings, researchers say that the plastics found in the whale are ‘not surprising’, as the amount of waste in the seas continues to grow. The whale was in poor condition, and had become stranded in shallow waters off the island of Sotra, leading to wardens putting the animal down.

Researchers from the University of Bergen analysed the whale’s stomach, and found huge amounts of plastic waste.

Dr Terje Lislevand, a zoologist who studied the whale, said: ‘The whale’s stomach was full of pla...

Read More