» Plastics


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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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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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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 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 the […]

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OSPAR organises conference to tackle microplastics in the seas

The Oslo Paris Commission (OSPARConvention 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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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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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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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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Microplastics are moving up the ocean food chain

The Vancouver Sun reports, 30th June 2015: “A new study from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre suggests microplastic particles could pose a serious risk of physical harm to the fish and marine animals that consume them. Plastic fibres and particles in West Coast waters are being consumed and passed up the food chain by […]

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US bid to remove microbead plastics from the oceans

PlanetExperts.com reports, 28th June 2015: “Last week the California State Assembly passed California’s microbead ban, AB 888, with bipartisan support. Co-sponsored by the 5 GyresA circular pattern of currents in an oceanA circular pattern of currents in an ocean Institute, AB 888 would phase out plastic microbeads from consumer care products, stopping a major contributor […]

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Micro-plastics a major problem for the oceans, says report

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) reports, 27th April 2015: “Micro-plastics — tiny pieces of plastic or fibres which may act as a pathway for persistent, bio accumulating and toxic substances entering the food chain — are increasingly being found in the oceans and may prove to be as harmful to marine life as more obvious, […]

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5 to 12 million tonnes of waste plastic entering the oceans each year

The Ecologist reports, 4th April 2015: “An unimaginably large volume of plastic debris is reaching the world’s oceans every year, write Britta Denise Hardesty & Chris Wilcox — and it’s set for a ten-fold increase over the next decade, adding to the already terrible toll on marine life from turtles to seals, sea birds and […]

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Stemming the presence of plastic bags in the oceans

Sarah Baulch on Isonomia, 27th March 2015, observes: “True horror lies not in crumbling Gothic graveyards or the trappings of midnight movies but in the disturbing implications of mundane things. Having spent years researching the impacts of marine debris and long hours looking at pictures of creatures with plastic clogging their stomachs, now when I […]

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