Plastic Pollution in the News and Why We Should Care
The reuse revolution is trending. Here’s what’s new and how it affects us:
Bans on wasteful food storage and drinkware are trending up at a fast pace across the country as news stories about plastic pollution hit mainstream. Here’s the latest:
Our Earth is swimming in plastic | CBS News: 60 Minutes
Eight million tons of plastic flows into the ocean every year and recycling plastic is not working. It’s time to turn off the tap. Thanks to 60 Minutes for highlighting the urgency of the plastic pollution crisis. They interview U.S. Fish and Wildlife scientists who estimate that birds at Midway Island (midway between the U.S. and Asia) carry five tons of plastic to the island in their stomach every year.
Microplastics found in every species of sea turtle worldwide | Independent
According to a study on sea turtles in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean, small plastic particles were found in every single species studied. In November, the New York Times reported that 1,000 pieces of plastic (cups, bags, bottles and flip flops) were found inside a dead sperm whale in Indonesia. The effects of ingested plastic on sea turtles and whales is not yet known, but what we do know is that “our society’s addiction to throwaway plastic is fuelling a global environmental crisis that must be tackled at source.”
What are melting icebergs doing in the heart of London? | The Telegraph
Ice Watch, artist Olafur Eliasson’s latest installation, is intended to highlight the effects of climate change. The Icelandic-Danish artist and the geologist working on the project estimate that in the Arctic 10,000 similar-sized blocks of ice melt every second. His work created an opportunity for people to see, touch and listen to the melting ice, hoping to bring the abstract into view.
The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the globe | NPR
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2018 Arctic Report Card, the Arctic has experienced the “most unprecedented transition in history” in terms of warming temperatures and melting ice, which is thought to increase extreme weather patterns and environmental events around the world. The region is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the globe, which also leads to harmful algae blooms that poison fragile marine life.
I want you to stop recycling | BuzzFeed
Leave it to Buzzfeed to bring us quick, catchy videos of current, trending topics, like this one reminding us that recycling is a billion dollar industry and is only as valuable as the market for it. Only 9% of the plastic that is produced actually gets recycled and that number is shrinking as China stops accepting so much of our plastic waste.
He swam from Japan to Hawaii and at times saw a piece of plastic in the ocean every three minutes | CNN
France’s Ben Lecomte swam 30 miles a day for six months in the Pacific Ocean as part of a campaign to raise awareness about plastic pollution. During some stretches of his swim he saw floating plastic pollution every three minutes, and his crew collected about 100 pieces every half hour when casting a net. “The mission doesn’t ever stop. It will carry on with the same ideas, bringing as much awareness on ocean pollution, on plastic, to try to inspire people to change their habit,” he said.