Once in a while, we like to take a virtual trip around the world to check in on some of the stories related to the ocean plastic crisis that are making news. This can be anything from research that shows how pervasive the problem is, to new ways of thinking about the plastic cycle, or some of the negative impacts ocean plastic pollution is having on species and habitats. Also, wherever we can, we like to recognize people or organizations making positive progress in the effort to curb the plastic pollution problem for future generations.
These stories are ripped from the headlines and just waiting for us to take a closer look. Let's go!
New research shows just how many fish are eating plastic
“A new study published in the journal Global Change Biology revealed that the rate of plastic consumption by marine fish has doubled in the last decade and is increasing by more than 2% a year.
“The study also revealed new information about what species are most affected and where the risks are greatest.
“The researchers did a global analysis of mounting studies of plastic pollution in the ocean and found data on plastic ingestion for 555 species of marine and estuarine fish. Their results showed that 386 fish species — two-thirds of all species — had ingested plastic. And of those, 210 were species that are commercially fished.”
How polluted with plastic is the Mississippi River? Residents can help measure it
“The Mississippi River watershed might be the largest source of marine plastic debris in the United States, draining almost half the country into the Gulf of Mexico. Globally, about 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year.
“Now residents can help measure the river's waste, in a new effort by towns and cities along the Mississippi to quantify the scope of plastic pollution entering the country's second longest waterway. The Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative announced its launch Wednesday, hoping to build off its 2018 commitment to reduce plastic waste by 20%.
“While the coalition's goal included the commitment of several companies in the hotel and restaurant sectors to reduce their own waste, it's unclear how successful those efforts have been. So the coalition hopes to improve monitoring that will provide more insight into the sources of pollution, how plastic moves through the watershed and in what quantities.”
F1 to stop using single-use plastic bottles in 2021
“As part of F1's long-term sustainability push, F1 has outlined some key targets that it wants to achieve alongside an effort to become carbon neutral from 2030.
“These include a vision for F1 events to be rid totally of single-use plastic and to ensure that 100% of all waste is reused, recycled or composted.
“While grand prix racing's chiefs have laid out a 2025 deadline to achieve that, F1 has elected to make a big step this year with efforts to dramatically cut back on its own single-use plastic bottles in the paddock.”
Photo of paralyzed man cleaning plastic from India River goes viral
Good News Network
“A disabled man has been showered with gifts after a photographer captured a snap of him removing plastic waste from a local river. The astounding shot was captured by Pro Media photographer Nandu Ks, who also works as an engineer in his town of Kerala, India.”
New model predicts how plastic from coast gets to middle of ocean
United Press International
“What are the odds that a piece of plastic blown into the surf end up into one of Earth's open-ocean garbage patches?
“Scientists in Germany and the United States have developed a new model to predict the pathways of coastal plastic pollution.
“To build their model — described Tuesday in the journal Chaos — researchers analyzed the movement data from surface buoys in different parts of Earth's oceans. Scientists relied on what's called transition path theory to work out the relationships between different ocean regions.
“The model developed by Miron and his colleagues was able to not just simulate the pathways between different gyres, but also the odds of a piece of plastic escaping one to join another.”
How to help: Take steps to reduce your plastic footprint
Plastic pollution is a complex issue and there is no one single action that’s going to change the tide. Ending this global crisis will require lots of small actions from lots of people every single day.
Every time you shop 4ocean, you’re investing in the future of our planet by funding the removal of trash that’s already polluting our oceans, rivers, and coastlines, while supporting the research, innovation, technology, advocacy, and education initiatives we invest in to help prevent more plastic from entering our oceans.
Small acts add up, which means every piece of single-use plastic you refuse, every bad habit you change, and every pound you pull makes a difference.