ocean plastic pollution

Finding MH 370: A Needle in a Garbage Patch

In the wake of the devastating news of the loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the idea that an object as large as a passenger plane could be lost continues to weigh heavily on the minds of search teams and devastated family members. While the flight was recently proclaimed officially lost and with no survivors, the physical remains of the plane have yet to be found. What is it, then, that has made the plane so hard to locate?

Microbeads in Cosmetics Under Scrutiny as States Call for Legislation

Early in February, New York State's Attorney General's Office announced legislation to curtail the inclusion of plastic "microbeads" in cosmetics. Not long after this legislation was introduced, California followed suit, introducing its own version of the bill for voter consideration.

Danube Plastic Count Outnumbers Fish Larvae, New Study Finds

In a startling new study, researchers from the University of Vienna have found that the samples they collected from the Danube river contained less fish larvae than they did plastic -- approximately 317 plastic particles to 275 fish larvae per 1,000 m3. This study, which was reported by Kriztina Kupi of Green Fudge News, left even researchers surprised: researchers were intending to take stock of fish larvae presence in their research, but found that industrial plastic outnumbered the subjects they were looking for.

Plastic Waste Ingested by Marine Worms Endangers Food Chain

According to an article from Monga Bay Environmental News, the ingestion of microplastics by a marine worm species called lugworms is posing a risk to the ecosystems they are an important part of. According to Nicholas Barrett, scientists from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth have published a study on the way microplastics impacts the worms' health and behaviour in Current Biology. Replicated in laboratory conditions, the exposure that the worms receive to plastics resulted in a 50% reduction in energy reserves and brought out signs of physical harm.

Microbial Colonies Take Root in the Plastisphere

The “Plastisphere” – a word recently assigned to the man-made ecosystem of plastic debris that spans the world's waterways – has just been found to be home to a range of microbial colonies that could be carrying harmful diseases.

Scientist Finds Plastic Pellets in Gooseneck Barnacles

A scientist working on gooseneck barnacles has discovered plastic pellets in his dissected specimens, a finding which spells bad news for a future study. John Upton of Grist writes:

SoBe Ad Campaign Attempts to Promote Products with Plastic Pollution

SoBe's newest advertising campaign has demonstrated a severe lack of knowledge when it comes to environmental consciousness according to an article in the Huffington Post last week. Gabriela Aoun writes that the drink manufacturer's new ad campaign depicts plastic bottles floating in the ocean and invites website visitors to “explore the worlds of SoBe”, a process which leads to multiple images of plastic SoBe bottles displayed on tropical beaches and in rivers. Writes Aoun:

New Ship Design to Combat Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans

Plastic, once it has worked its way into the ocean, has proved almost impossible to eliminate. According to an article from PR Web, the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean by the end of the decade could easily be about 230 million tons -- an amount the article states would be sufficient to manufacture 400 million 2 liter plastic bottles. That's a vast amount of plastic, and the reported amounts are constantly increasing, but as awareness of the problem grows, so does the action people are willing to take to ensure the pollution doesn't stray further out of hand.

Beached Sperm Whale in Spain Dies After Eating Large Amounts of Plastic

The Raw Story reported on Thursday last week that a 4.5 ton sperm whale washed up on a beach in Spain last week dead and in an extremely emaciated state, and upon further examination, it was found to have died of eating plastic. According to the story written by the Agence France-Presse, the whale, which washed ashore last year, was found to to have ingested over 17 kilograms (which equates to 37 pounds) of garbage, which blocked its stomach and caused the animal to starve to death.

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