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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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Coral die-back in the Pacific due to US war programme tests, says scientist

Terry Lilley reports, 13th February 2017: As a scientist we are trained to present facts. Good, bad or ugly. If you have been following my reporting (like 2 million other folks have been) over the last four years about the rapidly dying coral reefs along the north shore of Kauai then you may want to […]

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Extraordinary levels of pollution 10km deep in the Mariana trench, say scientists

The Guardian reports, 13th February 2017: Scientists have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution in the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet — the 10km deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean. Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times […]

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Tanker to tanker oil transfers proposals in Cromarty Firth spark controversy

The Herald (Scotland) reports, 23rd January 2017: Controversial plans to transfer up to nine million tonnes of crude oil between tankers at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth have been scrapped after the firm behind the scheme was ordered to withdraw its application. The Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) will have to prepare a new […]

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World’s largest colony of Humboldt penguins threatened

Oceana reports, 12th January 2017: Six hundred kilometres (360 miles) north of Santiago, Chile, the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve reverberates with the braying of 26,000 Humboldt penguins — around 80 percent of the species’ entire population. Sea otters and migrating blue whales glide through the waves close to colonies of nesting seabirds. This global biodiversityBiological […]

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Southern Water fined £2m for gross sewage pollution of Kent beaches

The Guardian reports, 19th December 2016: Southern Water has been fined a record £2m for flooding beaches in Kent with raw sewage, leaving them closed to the public for nine days. The Environment Agency called the event “catastrophic”, while the judge at Maidstone crown court said that Southern Water’s repeat offending was “wholly unacceptable”. The […]

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UK supermarket takes immediate action to ban microbead plastics

The Guardian reports, 24th November 2016: Tesco will have phased out microbeads from all its own brand cosmetics and household cleaning products within a month, it was announced on 24th November. While UK ministers recently said personal care products containing these tiny pieces of plastic will be banned from sale by the end of 2017, […]

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Seabirds eat plastic because it smells like food, say scientists

The Guardian reports, 9th November 2016: Algae on drifting plastic waste gives off a sulphur compound which smells similar to the krill many marine birds feed on, researchers have discovered. The findings could explain why certain birds — including albatrosses and shearwaters — which rely on their sense of smell for hunting, are particularly vulnerable […]

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Shipping industry to cap sulphur in its fuel by 2020

The Guardian reports, 28th October 2016: The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed on Thursday to set a cap on the sulphur content of marine fuels, in a move that campaigners predict will save millions of lives in the coming decades. At a meeting of the IMO’s environment protection committee shipping officials agreed to cap the […]

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Convention on Ballast Water Management secures legal force

The UK Wildlife and Countryside Link reports, October 2016: This month Finland ratified the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention. Being the 52nd contracting party, Finland tipped the target of 35% world shipping tonnage and triggered entry into force by September 2017. We’ve been waiting a long time for this, as the convention […]

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Astonishing facts revealed about pollution from cargo shipping

The Guardian reports, 7th October 2016: A push by the shipping and oil industries for a five-year delay to curbs on toxic sulphur emissions would cause an extra 200,000 premature deaths from lung cancer and heart disease, according to an unpublished International Maritime Organisation (IMO) study. Fatalities from illnesses such as asthma were not covered […]

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Shell and BP remain committed to deep-sea wells

We provide extracts from two news reports which show that the two largest British oil and gas companies, Shell and British Petroleum, remain committed to a future which involves extraction of oil and gas from deep-sea wells. The Guardian reports, 11th September 2016: Royal Dutch Shell has started production at the world’s deepest underwater oil […]

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UK Government to ban microbeads in cosmetic products and to consult on wider action

edie.net (part of the Guardian Environment Network) reports, 3rd September 2016:  Tiny pieces of plastic in personal beauty products, that end up in the oceans and are swallowed by marine life, will be banned from sale in the UK by the end of 2017, the Government announced. The move comes just days after MPs called […]

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Microbead plastics should be banned, say MPs

The Guardian reports, 24th August 2016: Cosmetics companies must be banned from using plastic microbeads in scrubs, toothpaste and beauty products because of the marine pollution they are causing, say a group of MPs. Members of the Environmental Audit Committee have called for a ban within 18 months after hearing that trillions of tiny pieces […]

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Microplastics may be harming reproduction in fish, says study

Sciencedaily.com reports, 2nd June 2016: In a new study, published in Science, researchers from Uppsala University found that larval fish exposed to microplastic particles during development displayed changed behaviours and stunted growth which lead to greatly increased mortality rates. The researchers discovered that larval perch that had access to microplastic particles only ate plastic and […]

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