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Marinet Special : Plastic in the Ocean

Awareness is growing of the huge, grave problem that plastic pollution of the ocean has created. We provide here a selection of articles and research reports published during the last 12 months (2017) which cover this “environmental crisis”, now considered by many to be as serious as climate change. These articles address not just the […]

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Plastic pollutes islands in the Arctic circle

The Guardian reports 16th June 2017: Beaches on remote Arctic islands are heavily polluted with plastic, a new expedition has found, demonstrating that the region is the dumping ground for waste carried northwards on the Gulf Stream. The shorelines of the Norwegian islands in the Svalbard archipelago and of Jan Mayen island were found to […]

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Plastic pollutes remote uninhabited Pacific island

The Guardian reports, 15th May 2017: One of the world’s most remote places, an uninhabited coral atoll, is also one of its most polluted. Henderson Island, a tiny landmass in the eastern South Pacific, has been found by marine scientists to have the highest density of anthropogenic debris recorded anywhere in the world, with 99.8% […]

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“Plastic pollution is a crisis comparable to climate change”, say US scientists

The Guardian reports 19th July 2017: Humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes of plastic since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or polluting the world’s continents and oceans, according to a new report. The first global analysis of all mass–produced plastics has found that it has outstripped most other man-made materials, threatening a […]

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4 Views on the Ocean Plastic problem, and possible solutions

We provide here a summary of 4 perspectives on the problem of ocean plastic pollution, and the solutions and difficulties which they foresee. They are:   Artists Project Earth and their Report and Campaign, 2017: Solutions for Ocean Plastics and Agenda for Action, by Prof. Edward Kosior and Irene Crescenzi. Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and […]

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UK Parliament Committee recommends deposit return scheme for plastic bottles

House of Commons Environment Audit Committee news release, 22nd December 2017: The Environmental Audit Committee calls for the introduction of a UK-wide deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, a requirement to provide free drinking water in public premises, and to make producers financially responsible for the plastic packaging they produce. Read the report summary Read […]

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Zero-emission vessels may enter shipping fleets by 2030

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (ImarEST) reports 12th December 2017: Lloyd’s Register (LR) and University Maritime Advisory Services have released a study that aims to demonstrate the viability of zero-emission vessels (ZEVs) and identify how they will become a competitive option for decarbonisation. According to the report, ZEVs will need to begin […]

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Discovery of marine fungus which “eats” plastic

Actionhub.com reports, 5th July 2017: Researchers from the University of Aveiro, Portugal, have discovered a form of marine fungus that degrades plastic, meaning it can potentially be used to combat pollution. There’s never been a time in which humans have been producing more plastic than now and unfortunately, tons of this ends up in our […]

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UK Government to explore taxation as a means of preventing plastic pollution of the ocean

Letsrecycle.com reports, 22nd November 2017: Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced plans to investigate how the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items can reduce waste. Following the announcement in the chancellor’s Autumn Budget statement, 22nd November, HM Treasury confirmed the government will launch “a call for evidence in early 2018 on how the tax […]

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Animals in the deepest ocean are ingesting waste plastic

Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, Press Release, 14th November 2017: Animals from six of the deepest places on Earth have been found to contain man-made fibres and plastic in their stomachs, scientists have shown. These observations are the deepest possible record of microplastic occurrence and ingestion, indicating it is highly likely there are no marine ecosystems left that […]

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Think Before You Drink

 

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Petition of ¼ million signatures for Plastic returnable bottle deposit scheme hits Downing Street

Surfers Against Sewage report, 14th September 2017: “This week we were thrilled to lead a delegation of cross-party MPs and charities to submit our Message In A Bottle petition, the UK’s largest petition — 267,554 signatures — calling for a deposit return system with more than quarter of a million signatures, to the Prime Minister. We […]

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Gulf of Mexico : Largest “dead zone” ever recorded this year

www.gizmodo.co.uk reports, 5th August 2017: Measuring 8,776 square miles, this year’s dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest ever recorded. A recent expedition to the Gulf of Mexico has yielded the largest “dead zone” ever recorded in the area. Measuring 8,776 square miles, this massive patch of oxygen depleted water is wreaking […]

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Microplastics in fish need to be monitored, say scientists

The Independent reports, 27th July 2017: Plastic micro-particles are getting into the flesh of fish eaten by humans, according to a new study. A team of scientists from Malaysia and France discovered a total of 36 tiny pieces of plastic in the bodies of 120 mackerel, anchovies, mullets and croakers. They warned that as plastic […]

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Plastic waste in the oceans will equal the amount of fish, by weight, by 2050

The Daily Telegraph reports, 18th May 2017: Plastic in the world’s oceans is a ‘growing ecological and human disaster’ which needs an urgent solution, the Prince of Wales said last night, as he launched a prize to find ways to tackle the crisis. The Prince of Wales’ said plastic had ‘altered the course of human […]

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Worldwide petition to tackle plastic pollution of the oceans

The petition organisation, Avaaz, has announced May 2017 that it is running a worldwide petition to the United Nations to try to secure universal action to substantially reduce plastic pollution of the oceans. 100 MILLION plastic bottles are thrown away every day, choking our oceans in plastic waste. Governments meet in days to outline clean […]

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Can “deposits” on plastic bottles clean the oceans of plastic pollution?

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have launched a campaign and petition to require deposits to be charged on plastic bottles and metal cans, thus providing a financial system and incentive to convert them into returnable items. Known as the “Deposit Return Scheme”, SAS explain the campaign: “A small deposit of between 10–20p is added to the […]

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N. Teesside could be the hub of North Sea oil platform decommissioning

Ian Jack, The Guardian, reports 8th April 2017: To witness the beginning or end of a great industry or a way of living isn’t unusual. Each generation has its list of comings and goings — great grandfathers who remember the advent of the motor car, grandmothers who recall the last factory hooter in Accrington, fathers […]

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UN “declares war” on ocean plastic

Seven Seas Travel Magazine reports 25th February 2017: UN Environment launched an unprecedented global campaign to eliminate major sources of marine litter: microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic by the year 2022. UN Environment launches major global #CleanSeas campaign to end marine litter. Ten countries are already on board, as […]

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Plastic from tyres is a “major source” of ocean pollution, says IUCN

BBC News reports, 22nd February 2017: Particles of debris from car tyres are ending up in the ocean as “plastic soup”, conservationists warn. Micro-plastics from tyres and textiles are a bigger source of marine pollution than the breakdown of larger plastic waste in some areas, says the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Up to […]

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