plastic tagged posts

UN countries agree to create ‘historic’ treaty to fight plastic pollution

An agreement to negotiate a new legally-binding treaty to end plastic pollution has been hailed as “the most significant environmental multilateral deal” since the Paris climate accord, by the UN Environment Programme. Representatives of 175 countries backed a resolution at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi to draw up an international legally binding agreement by 2024 to help end plastic pollution.

“Against the backdrop of geopolitical turmoil, the UN Environment Assembly shows multilateral cooperation at its best,” said the President of UNEA-5 and Norway’s Minister for Climate and the Environment, Espen Barth Eide.

Plastic production has soared from two million tonnes in 1950 to 348 million tonnes in 2017, and is expected to double by 2040.

But plastics, made from o...

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75% of People Want Single-Use Plastics Banned

Three in four people worldwide want single-use plastics to be banned as soon as possible, according to a poll released on Tuesday, as United Nations members prepare to begin talks on a global treaty to rein in soaring plastic pollution. The percentage of people calling for bans is up from 71% since 2019, while those who said they favoured products with less plastic packaging rose to 82% from 75%, according to the IPSOS poll of more than 20,000 people across 28 countries.

Activists say the results send a clear message to governments meeting in Nairobi this month to press ahead with an ambitious treaty to tackle plastic waste, a deal being touted as the most important environmental pact since the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015.

“People worldwide have made their views clear,...

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Extreme heat and plastic pollution push oceans to brink

Plastic pollution now plagues almost every species living in the oceans and, at the same time, sea surface temperatures once considered extreme have now become normal. Those are the findings of two separate studies published in February ahead of the ongoing One Ocean Summit, a conference organized by French President Emmanuel Macron to protect marine life from overfishing, climate change and pollution. Together, the research papers tell a story of an ecosystem vital to human survival that is increasingly under attack.

The first study, published in the journal Plos Climate, found heat that used to be considered rare had become normal for most of the world’s oceans...

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Ocean microplastic pollution may be greater than estimated

The great diversity of scientific techniques and methods used in the study of marine microplastics pollution limits the current knowledge of this serious environmental problem threatening our ecosystems. This is the main conclusion of a study carried out by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) that reviews the research carried out to measure the presence of microplastics in the coastal areas and seawater of the Mediterranean Sea, both in the sea surface water, seawater column and in marine sediments.

The conclusions show that the levels of microplastics in the Mediterranean are probably higher than estimated, but the methods used are not capable of recording them. 

Microplastic pollution is one of the environmen...

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4 Million Pounds of Microplastics Found in Corals, Causing Tissue Necrosis in Fishes

Harmful to ocean and aquatic life, microplastics make up the nearly three percent toxic pollutants in shallow, tropical waters where corals flourish. These toxic chemicals bring huge detrimental impact on reef health, and a new study reveals 4 million pounds of them may be stored in coral skeletons every year.

After 18 months of exposing corals in the lab to microplastics, researchers were able to put a number on how much of the tiny fragments of plastic are stored in them.

“Our study clearly indicates that microplastics are yet another human-made stress factor for corals and that they are very likely to contribute to further deterioration of coral reefs on our planet,” lead author Jessica Reichert reported.

The study conducted by this team of scientists from the University Giess...

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Stopping Marine Plastic Pollution: A Key IUCN Congress Goal

Plastic bottles and bottle caps are among the most frequent items found along Mediterranean shores

Plastic bags may remain intact for years in the marine environment. Plastic products certified to be industrially compostable are no solution for littering, as they do not degrade efficiently in the environment and continue to pose a threat to wildlife as they break down. Credit: Eleonora de Sabata / Clean Sea LIFE

St David’s, Wales, Jul 1 2021 (IPS) – Documented images of albatross chicks and marine turtles dying slow deaths from eating plastic bags and other waste are being seared into our consciences. And yet our mass pollution of Earth’s seas and oceans, fuelled by single-use plastics and throw-away consumerism, just gets worse.

Plastic debris is estimated to kill more than a million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals and countless sea turtles every year...

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Plastic Facemasks Devastating Impact on the World’s Oceans

Divers have gathered shocking images of the devastating impact disposable masks are having on the environment and our oceans, ending up washed-up among coral reefs and damaging the health of marine animals. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge in pollution, adding to the plastic waste that is already threatening marine life. Divers have seen throwaway facemasks and plastic gloves floating around the ocean like jellyfish.

Environmentalists have warned how sea creatures such as turtles, whose habitat are the tropical waters close to Manila, the Philippines, will be unable to distinguish food from plastic waste.

Since March 2020, the RSPCA has said they have had to help more than 900 animals caught in discarded PPE, the majority being birds...

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Face masks and gloves found on 30% of UK beaches

This year’s Great British Beach Clean, hosted by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), has found that face masks and gloves were found on nearly 30% of beaches cleaned by Marine Conservation Society volunteers over the week-long event. The inland Source to Sea Litter Quest data shows a similarly alarming presence of masks and gloves, with more than 69% of litter picks finding PPE items.

“The amount of PPE our volunteers found on beaches and inland this year is certainly of concern,” said Lizzie Prior, Great British Beach Clean Coordinator at the MCS...

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River Thames ‘severely polluted with plastic’

The River Thames has some of the highest recorded levels of microplastics for any river in the world. Scientists have estimated that 94,000 microplastics per second flow down the river in places. The quantity exceeds that measured in other European rivers, such as the Danube and Rhine. Tiny bits of plastic have been found inside the bodies of crabs living in the Thames. And wet wipes flushed down the toilet are accumulating in large numbers on the shoreline.

Researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, are calling for stricter regulations on the labelling and disposal of plastic products.

They warn that careless disposal of plastic gloves and masks during the coronavirus pandemic might make the problem of plastic pollution worse.

“Taken together these studies show how many diff...

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Coronavirus: ‘The masks you throw away could end up killing a whale’

Tons of PPE from coronavirus ends up in our oceans

As the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, more and more protective equipment is ending up in the sea.

Globally we are using 129 billion face masks and 65 billion plastic gloves every month, according to some estimates.

And divers and observers are spotting more of this discarded waste floating underwater, causing problems for wildlife and washing up on shorelines all over the world.

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