The world’s plastic problem may seem vast and incalculable, but its footprint has actually been measured. In a sweeping 2015 study, researchers calculated that 9 billion tons of the material have been made, distributed and disposed in fewer than 70 years. That’s an astonishing figure, but it’s also one that’s hard to picture. Perhaps a better way to illustrate the problem of plastics is by looking at the damage that can be caused by a single drinking straw.
In 2015, a team of marine biologists in Costa Rica pried a plastic straw from the nose of a male olive ridley sea turtle. Footage of the excruciating, bloody extraction was posted online and viewed by millions of people around the globe. The video is powerful not only because it suggests the pervasiveness of plastics and shows the harm it can inflict on a vulnerable species, but it also strikes a much deeper chord within: shame.
“Subconsciously, people who watched the video knew that the straw in that turtle’s nose could have been thrown away by any of us,” Christine Figgener, the biologist who extracted the straw, wrote in a Medium post after the video went viral. “They saw their own actions reflected in its eyes.”
Whole Foods bills itself as “America’s healthiest grocery store,” but what it’s doing to the environment is anything but healthy. According to a new report, the chain is helping to drive one of the nation’s worst human-made environmental disasters: the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
'A Partisan Shock Trooper in a Black Robe': This 2012 Case Shows Why Brett Kavanaugh Would Be A Danger on the Supreme Court
If there's one thing that's clear about Judge Brett Kavanaugh — President Donald Trump's pick to be the next Supreme Court justice — it's that he's a deeply committed Republican partisan.
The following article, part of a content partnership between Stone Pier Press and Earth | Food | Life (EFL), a project of the Independent Media Institute, is the first installment of “Plastic Pollution — Plastic Solutions,” an exclusive EFL series. Check the EFL site for new installments.
For all the well-documented sources of environmental pollution—think chemical manufacturers, energy plants, mining operations and agricultural processes—there’s another major source of contamination that continues to get short shrift by those charged with protecting the nation’s waterways and the public’s health: Pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
With Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's job now hanging in the balance, it is a good time to recall that, just after his Senate confirmation, he gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that emphasized the three principles he said would stand at “the heart of how we do business at the EPA”: process, rule of law, and federalism.
Our ocean is facing a plastic pollution crisis. The equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters our oceans every single minute, every day, all year long. Not only are plastics entangling and killing marine life, they are ending up on our plates through the seafood we eat and polluting our tap water.
Something amazing is happening in California. The Golden State has taken bold steps to act on climate change, including regulations to cut carbon consumption and charging polluters for the carbon that they emit. The money from polluters is placed into a fund called the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), where it goes to work promoting the clean energy economy in communities across the state.
That pollution is bad for our health will come as a surprise to no one. That pollution kills at least 9 million people every year might. This is 16 percent of all deaths worldwide: three times more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and 15 times more than all wars and other forms of violence. Air pollution alone is responsible for 6.5 million of these 9 million deaths. Nearly 92 percent of pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
The indoor air quality in our homes can be worse than we think—and it could be leading to a wide variety of health problems. Indoor air pollution (IAP) is a combination of outdoor polluted air that has seeped inside and internal pollutants. As our homes become more sealed, to keep noise out and heat in, they can also trap in more pollutants and allergens, too.