» Pollution



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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EU Parliament petitions the Commission to ban microbead plastics

A small group of MEPs, see below, has drawn up a parliamentary petition aimed at the EU Commission which seeks to ban the use of microbead plastics in commercial products. Microbead plastics, which are too small to be seen by the naked eye, are now regularly used in commercial products such as toothpastes, shampoos and […]

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Campaigners launch UK-focused petition and proposals to rid the ocean of microplastics

April 2016, Greenpeace reports on UK ngo campaign and petition to the Prime Minister to prohibit the use of microplastics in UK cosmetic and health products : “Washed your face with an exfoliating face scrub recently? Brushed your teeth with some smooth mint toothpaste? Unfortunately then, you may have unknowingly used a product containing gross, […]

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Cruise liners challenging air pollution limits in UK’s cities and ports

The Guardian reports, 31st March 2016: Toxic fumes from large cruise liners powered by giant diesel engines will worsen London’s air pollution and could prevent the city from meeting its EU legal limits on deadly nitrogen oxide emissions, says resident groups opposing a new terminal. Plans for a wharf in the Thames that would be […]

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How Ocean Pollution Affects Humans

With the oceans covering over 72% of the world’s surface and providing 70% of the oxygen we breathe and 97% of our water supply, without the oceans mankind would not exist today. The ocean is the most beautiful, diverse and mysterious environment on the planet however; everyday our oceans are under attack from pollution caused […]

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Oyster reproduction affected adversely by micro-plastics

Sciencemag.org reports, 1st February 2016: Increasingly, these molluscs are exposed to tiny pieces of plastic the same size as oysters’ preferred planktonplankton Plankton is a generic term for a wide variety of the smallest yet most important organisms form that drift in our oceans. They can exist in larger forms of more than 20cm as […]

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Seagrass meadows around the British Isles are in “perilous state”

BBC News, 13th January 2016, reports: Most seagrass meadows around the coast of the British Isles are in a “perilous state”, say scientists. Plants are being damaged by pollution and human disturbances such as mooring boats, according to researchers. Surveys of 11 sites in England, Wales and Ireland found high nitrogen levels in water were […]

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OSPAR organises conference to tackle microplastics in the seas

The Oslo Paris Commission (OSPAROSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic made up of representatives of the Governments of the 15 signatory nations.) reports, 9th December 2015: Small fragments of plastic (microplastics) are so prevalent in the North East Atlantic that it is now critical that sectors come together […]

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Deep Sea Mining : the nature of the resource, and the threat to ocean integrity

Prof. Richard Steiner writes in The Huffington Post, 20th October 2015: Adding to concerns about the disastrous decline in ocean ecosystems, now there is another emerging threat — deep sea mining. While shallow water mining for sand, gold, tin, and diamonds has been conducted for decades, commercial deep sea mining has yet to occur anywhere. […]

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Ocean seabed a host to waste plastic and this is potentially a serious hazard, says study

The Guardian, 17th December 2014, reports: Scientists believe they have solved the mystery of where tens of thousands of tonnes of missing tiny pieces of plastic are ending up — and the answer lies in the mud and sand on the ocean floor. Researchers have previously been puzzled by why they found much less plastic […]

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California to ban microbead plastic in order to protect marine life

The Guardian, 12th October 2015, reports: California’s governor, Jerry Brown, has signed legislation requiring California to phase out the use of microscopic exfoliating beads in personal care products sold in the state starting in 2020 to protect fish and wildlife. The tiny plastic beads found in soap, toothpaste and body washes are so small that […]

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Shell withdraws from oil drilling in the Alaskan Arctic

The Guardian reports, 28th September 2015: Shell has abandoned its controversial drilling operations in the Alaskan Arctic in the face of mounting opposition in what jubilant environmentalists described as “an unmitigated defeat” for big oil. The Anglo-Dutch company had repeatedly stressed the enormous hydrocarbon potential of the far north region in public, but in private […]

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Ocean plastic is the new DDT, warns Canadian scientist

CBC News reports, 11th September 2014: A prominent Canadian marine biologist has warned of a second “silent spring” — this time in the world’s oceans — due to the vast amount of plastic that has entered marine ecosystems in the last half-century. In 1962, Rachel Carson helped launch the modern environmental movement with her book, […]

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Study finds 9 out of 10 seabirds have plastic in their gut

The Guardian reports, 1st September 2015: As many as nine out of 10 of the world’s seabirds are likely to have pieces of plastic in their guts, a new study estimates. An Australian team of scientists who have studied birds and marine debris found that far more seabirds were affected than the previous estimate of […]

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America’s Cup to eliminate balloon releases from their publicity

Bernews.com reports, 4th September 2015: After a social media post showing balloons being released at the recent America’s Cup event in Sweden resulted in a slew of complaints, the America’s Cup said they “regret” the balloon release, and have “put processes in place with all future local organizing committees to ensure this will not happen […]

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SW MEP and Cornish campaigners meet EU Commissioner to lobby over waste plastics

Clare Moody, Labour MEP for SW England, reports July 2015: Discarded plastic has devastating effects on our marine environment, but changing waste into a resource could help limit the damage. Earlier this month, I joined constituents from Cornwall, in the west of my region, for a meeting with European environment, maritime affairs and fisheries commissioner […]

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Southern Water found guilty of sea pollution at Worthing

The Worthing Herald reports, 4th August 2015: A jury took less than one hour to find Southern Water guilty of breaching environmental rules after the water company expelled 40million litres of raw sewage into the sea from its East Worthing treatment plant. The six men and six women took just 50 minutes to find the […]

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