rubbish tagged posts

Ocean Cleaning Device Succeeds in Removing Plastic for the First Time

Plastic clean up operation to clear plastic from the oceans

An enormous floating device designed by Dutch scientists for the non-profit Ocean Cleanup successfully captured and removed plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the company announced Wednesday, as CNN reported.

Ocean Cleanup has been hard at work on creating a device to attack the plastic waste crisis for seven years, by creating a device that captures plastic in its fold like a giant arm, according to Business Insider. The company announced that it was able to capture and hold debris ranging from large cartons, crates and abandoned fishing gear — or “ghosts nets,” which are a scourge to marine life — to microplastics that are as small as one millimeter, according to an Ocean Cleanup press release.

“Today, I am very proud to share with you that we are now catching plastics,” O...

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Island reveals rising tide of plastic waste

Inaccessible Island in the South Atlantic

A remote island in the southern Atlantic Ocean has helped reveal the scale of the problem of plastic waste facing our seas. Some 75% of bottles washed ashore on Inaccessible Island, in the South Atlantic, were found to be from Asia – with most made in China. Researchers said most of the bottles had been made recently, suggesting they had been discarded by ships.

An estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year. But this figure just covers land-based sources.

The team from South Africa and Canada, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), said that it had been assumed that most of the debris found at sea was coming from the land.

However, the scientists said the evidence suggested otherwise.

“When we were [on the island, called Inace...

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Ocean Cleanup, the mission against plastic sets off again

After returning to shore last January due to a fault, the floating barrier has set sail towards the Pacific Trash Vortex once again with the aim of removing the largest plastic island floating in the ocean. The Ocean Cleanup mission is giving it another go, not letting the first obstacle bring it to a permanent halt: the machine, whose full name is Ocean Array Cleanup, is a barrier designed to carry out the greatest ocean cleanup operation ever. 

Boyan Slat, the mastermind behind the project, announced via Twitter that it’s currently at sea headed towards the Pacific Trash Vortex, the largest plastic island on the planet.

Give it another go, Wilson

In late 2018, the 600-metre long machine called Wilson was damaged by continuous exposure to waves and wind, causing a 2...

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Florida Divers break world record with ocean clean-up

A massive team of divers have broken the Guinness World Record for the largest underwater cleanup. The team of 633 people organised by Dixie Divers in Florida picked up litter from the seabed near the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier on Saturday.

The marine conservation non-profit project AWARE and the scuba diving agency PADI also supported the event, aiming to show how conservation is bringing people together more than ever before.

Arlington Pavan, who owns the Dixie Divers facility, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on the weekend: “It’s amazing to see everybody here, happy, just amazing.

“The last record took 24 hours and we did it in two hours, so it’s amazing.”

The Sun Sentinel reported that the Dixie Divers team broke the last record from 2...

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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...

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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...

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Scientists accidentally created Mutant Enzyme that eats Plastic Waste

They found the first ones in Japan. Hidden in the soil at a plastics recycling plant, researchers unearthed a microbe that had evolved to eat the soda bottles dominating its habitat, after you and I throw them away. That discovery was announced in 2016, and scientists have now gone one better. While examining how the Japanese bug breaks down plastic, they accidentally created a mutant enzyme that outperforms the natural bacteria, and further tweaks could offer a vital solution to humanity’s colossal plastics problem.

“Serendipity often plays a significant role in fundamental scientific research and our discovery here is no exception,” says structural biologist John McGeehan from the University of Portsmouth in the UK.

“This unanticipated discovery suggests that there is room to further im...

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Chile Bans Plastic Bags in 100+ Coastal Areas

Turtle eating plastic

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed a bill Wednesday that prohibits the sale of single-use plastic bags in 102 coastal villages and towns in a bid to stop the build-up of ocean plastic and to “[take] care of our marine ecosystems.”

An estimated eight million tons of plastic trash gets dumped into our oceans each year, literally choking marine life, harming ocean ecosystems and threatening the larger food chain.

Businesses found using and distributing plastic bags could face a US$300 fine, Telesur reported about the legislation.

In addition to banning plastic bags, the Chilean government plans to create 1.6 million square kilometers of marine conservation areas by 2018, AFP reported...

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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...

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Oceans smothered by plastic

Plastic in our oceans

Mangrove swamps are normally buzzing with life, as multitudes of colourful crabs and other creatures scurry about on the muddy forest floor.  But when marine scientist Dr Brent Newman visited Durban harbour last week, he was astonished to find not a single crab in a section of mangroves near the Bluff Yacht Club.

The reason? The biologically-rich environment has been smothered by a thick layer of plastic and other floating litter, making it impossible for crabs to burrow down into the mud.

“The mangroves were full of plastic, obliterating habitat for crabs. We could not find even one,” the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) scientist told a panel discussion at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

Marine biology lecturer Dr David Glassom said recent studies by ...

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