» Plastics



Australian study reveals scale of micro-plastic marine pollution

The Guardian reports, 25th August 2014: “Researchers have found “alarming” level of plastic pollution in Sydney harbour, with fibres from clothing and toiletries causing a widespread impact upon the marine ecosystem. The first information from the ongoing Sydney Harbour Research Program shows that small pieces of plastic measuring under 5mm have been found in each […]

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Underwater gold rush sparks fears of ocean catastrophe

From The Guardian, 2nd March 2014: This is the last frontier: the ocean floor, 4,000 metres beneath the waters of the central Pacific, where mining companies are now exploring for the rich deposits of ores needed to keep industry humming and smartphones switched on. The prospect of a race to the bottom of the ocean […]

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Plastic Pollution of the Oceans : A Problem of Immense and Increasing Gravity

We provide here a “Marinet Special” — a collection of articles and films which clearly portray the immense nature of the pollution problem which now confronts the oceans and ourselves due to waste plastics. The portrait is stark, solidly based in science, and deeply worrisome. The solution is possible, but it requires action of a […]

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“Earthworms of the sea” are being harmed by micro-plastic pollution

The Guardian reports, 2nd December 2013: “Tiny bits of plastic rubbish ingested by marine worms is significantly harming their health and will have wider impact on ocean ecosystems, scientists have found. Microplastic particles, measuring less than 5mm in size, have been accumulating in the oceans since the 1960s and are now the most abundant form […]

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Washing each synthetic garment can release “up to 1,900 plastic fibres” into the sea

BBC News, 27th January 2012, reports: “Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study has warned. Researchers traced the “microplastic” back to synthetic clothes, which released up to 1,900 tiny fibres per garment every time they were washed. Earlier research showed plastic […]

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The death of albatrosses from plastic pollution – does it foretell our fate too?

The Guardian, 3rd November 2009, reports: “Chris Jordan’s startling photographs capture the deceased albatross chicks that have washed up on an island the north of the Pacific, their stomachs overflowing with plastic litter. To see these photographs, click here. It’s a discovery to appal a modern-day Captain Cook. A vast plastic terra incognita, composed of […]

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“Plastic Bag”, a short film charting the life of a plastic bag from supermarket to the ocean

This short film by American director Ramin Bahrani traces the epic, existential journey of a plastic bag (voiced by Werner Herzog) searching for its lost maker, the woman who took it home from the store and eventually discarded it. Along the way, it encounters strange creatures, experiences love in the sky, grieves the loss of […]

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Film “Synthetic Sea” – how plastics have entered the marine food chain, and the consequences

This film “Synthetic Sea”  has been produced by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and records c. 2010 the results of a research project to evaluate the presence and impact of non-biodegradable plastic (man-made plastics) on the oceans and the life that lives there. The implications of the facts portrayed by this film are worrisome, to […]

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Film : Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic

Captain Charles Moore (USA) and the Algalita Marine Research Foundation has made a 3 part film (each part c. 20 mins) which records a research trip to measure and record the nature and extent of plastic pollution in the ocean gyreA circular pattern of currents in an oceanA circular pattern of currents in an ocean […]

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London and R. Thames placing huge plastic pollution load on the North Sea

The Guardian reports, 2nd January 2014: “An unseen stream of plastic rubbish flowing along the bed of the river Thames and out into the North Sea will have far-reaching effects on marine life, a new report indicates. Scientists from the Natural History Museum and Royal Holloway, University of London, collected rubbish over a three-month period […]

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OSPAR announces increased protection for iconic biodiversity in NE Atlantic

The Oslo Paris Commission for the Protection of the NE Atlantic (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. ) has announced, 19th December 2013, increased protection for species and habitats in the North East Atlantic. Their press release […]

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Fishing for plastic in the Southern Ocean

The Guardian reports, 10th December 2013: ” Erik van Sebille is looking for something very much out of the ordinary in the Southern Ocean: plastic. He has come to one of the most remote parts of the world — as far as it is possible to go from major concentrations of people — to look […]

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80% of waste plastic in the sea comes from land-based sources

The Guardian reports, 9th August 2013: “Green turtles are swallowing plastic at twice the rate they did 25 years ago, according to a new study. The finding is based on data collected across the globe since the late 1980s and analysed by researchers at the University of Queensland. Study leader and PhD candidate Qamar Schuyler […]

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The best and worst of Britain’s beaches, using your photos

The Guardian reports, 27th June 2013: “It’s not been great news recently for the British beach, according the Marine Conservation Society, the number of cigarette butts littering UK beaches actually doubled last year and almost two-thirds of the litter recorded was plastic and therefore unlikely to break down. It seems that wet weather in the […]

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Two-thirds of all beach litter is made of plastic

The number of cigarette butts littering UK beaches doubled last year, while other rubbish from smoking including lighters and packets increased by 90%, according to a survey that raises that concerns anti-littering campaigns are failing to make an impact. Plastic rubbish including sweet and lolly wrappers also rose by 3% in 2012 compared with 2011, […]

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Sperm whale dies after swallowing large amount of dumped plastics

A dead sperm whale that washed up on Spain’s south coast had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste dumped into the sea by farmers tending greenhouses that produce tomatoes and other vegetables for British supermarkets. Scientists were amazed to find the 4.5 tonne whale had swallowed 59 different bits of plastic – most of it thick […]

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Prof. Callum Roberts outlines the urgent task the new Global Ocean Commission must tackle

Prof. Callum Roberts writes in The Observer, 10th February 2013: “The oceans are changing faster today and in more ways than at any time in human history. We are the cause. Which is why I welcome the launch of the Global Ocean Commission, dedicated to ending the neglect, in international affairs, of the high seas. […]

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Explorers find “evidence” of mankind in the oceans’ abyssal depths

Jon Copley, marine explorer, writes in The Guardian, 25th February 2013:” On 15th August 1934, two adventurers squeezed into a tiny metal capsule and became the first people to see another world. Their names were William Beebe and Otis Barton, and the world that they saw was the deep ocean, when they dived more than […]

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One-third of fish caught in English Channel have plastic in their gut

One-third of fish caught off the south-west coast of England have traces of plastic contamination from sources including sanitary products and carrier bags, scientists have found. The Plymouth University study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, looked at the occurrence of plastic in 10 species of fish caught in the English Channel. Of 504 […]

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Innovative technology turns sewage into plastic

From Waterbriefing comes news of this excellent methodology of recycling. A ground breaking innovation will enable turning municipal sewage sludge into raw materials, to be used by paper and plastic industries around the world. The innovative technology developed by Israeli firm Applied Cleantech will enable turning the solids in municipal sewage systems into raw materials […]

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