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.
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.
Our demand for plastic has devastating consequences for oceans and marine wildlife, and scientists have been revealing the role microplastics play in this.
It’s 7am. You drag yourself out of bed, pull on your work clothes, brush your teeth and hop on the bus. You get off at your stop, and head to the nearest Starbucks for a cup of coffee to wake up your foggy brain. You sip the delicious, caffeinated concoction on your walk to work, and the cup’s empty by the time you arrive. You look for a place to toss it—but wait, do you throw it away or put it in a recycling bin?
People who deny that humans are wreaking havoc on the planet's life-support systems astound me. When confronted with the obvious damage we're doing to the biosphere, from climate change to water and air pollution to swirling plastic patches in the oceans, some dismiss the reality or employ logical fallacies to discredit the messengers.
Sea salt around the world has been contaminated by plastic pollution, adding to experts’ fears that microplastics are becoming ubiquitous in the environment and finding their way into the food chain via the salt in our diets.
It’s the secret shame of many Americans: The half-forgotten perishables in your refrigerator and pantry that are now turning pretty colors or giving off the fragrance of a corpse.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Everyone has heard this call ad infinitum, but do we really take heed? Yes, sorting your trash is a good start, but that still only ticks one box. Maybe you’re a stellar glass and plastic recycler, never go to the shops without your canvas bag, yet still find yourself struggling to reduce your consumption. If that sounds familiar, unfortunately you’re still part of the problem. Or, if you’d prefer a different label, just your average citizen.
U.S. scientists have calculated yet another item on the human shopping list that makes up the modern world: plastics. They have estimated the mass of all the plastic bottles, bags, cups, toys, instruments and fabrics ever produced and tracked its whereabouts, as yet another index of the phenomenal change to the face of the planet made by recent human advance.
One of the world’s most remote places, an uninhabited coral atoll, is also one of its most polluted.
Beverage container recycling rates in California have fallen below 80 percent for the first time since 2008, according to new data released last week by CalRecycle, the state’s recycling agency. The reduced recycling rate means that two million additional containers are littered or landfilled every day, including more than one million plastic bottles.