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Kunhui Chih / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Plastic debris washed up on remote islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans has killed hermit crabs, which mistake the plastic for shells, as CNN reported.

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Ghost nests continue fishing long after they have been abandoned. Josephine Jullian / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A lot of the discussion around ocean plastic pollution focuses on consumer items like bottles, bags and straws. But a new Greenpeace report zeroes in on a different plastic threat: lost or abandoned fishing gear.

Discarded plastic fishing equipment, dubbed "ghost gear," is especially dangerous to marine life because it was designed to trap and kill it.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Adult and infant sperm whales have been spotted in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Inf-Lite Teacher / CC BY-SA

By Chandra Salgado Kent

Scientific research doesn't usually mean being strapped in a harness by the open paratroop doors of a Vietnam-war-era Hercules plane. But that's the situation I found myself in several years ago, the result of which has just been published in the journal Marine Biodiversity.

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Sunrise over the grassy Assateague dunes in Assateague, Maryland. Eric B. Walker / Flickr

By Pete Stauffer

The partial shutdown of the federal government reached its 16th day on Monday with no immediate resolution in sight. With border security politics dominating the headlines, Republican and Democrat lawmakers remained locked in a stalemate while President Trump signaled a willingness to keep the government shut down for months or even years. The upshot is that dozens of federal agencies remain closed or operating at minimum capacity until the gridlock in DC is resolved.

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#Break Free from Plastic written on the beach using collected bottle caps. Chanklang Kanthong / Greenpeace

By Kate Melges

Much of the stuff that accumulates during the holidays comes with single-use plastic packaging. We open a gift, rip it out of the package and toss the plastic into a bin, hoping it will get recycled and not end up polluting our oceans.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of single-use plastic is not recycled. In fact, only 9 percent of the plastics ever created have actually been recycled. And much of it ends up in our oceans. Every single minute, the equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the ocean, harming marine life and entering seafood supply chains around the world. For a long time, corporations have tried to pass the blame and responsibility to all of us so they could continue churning out cheap throwaway packaging in the name of profit.

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Teenager Alex Weber and friends collected nearly 40,000 golf balls hit into the ocean from a handful of California golf courses. Alex Weber / CC BY-ND

By Matthew Savoca

Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.

As a scientist researching marine plastic pollution, I thought I had seen a lot. Then, early in 2017, I heard from Alex Weber, a junior at Carmel High School in California.

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Ocean Cleanup's System 001 is towed out of the San Francisco Bay in San Francisco, California on Sept. 8, 2018. Ray Chavez / Digital First Media / East Bay Times via Getty Images

An enormous floating device designed by Dutch scientists for the non-profit Ocean Cleanup successfully captured and removed plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the company announced Wednesday, as CNN reported.

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This photo taken on May 19, 2018 shows plastic waste on a garbage-filled beach on the Freedom island critical habitat and ecotourism area near Manila in the Philippines. NOEL CELIS / AFP / Getty Images

Coca-Cola was found to be the most polluted brand in the world for the second year in a row, according to a global audit of collected plastic trash conducted by the Break Free From Plastic global movement, as The Intercept reported.

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Trending

The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) on Hikkaduwa coral reef, Sri Lanka. danilovi / E+ / Getty Images

Endangered green turtles are having a problem. They're mistaking plastic pollution for the seaweed they survive on, according to new research from the University of Exeter in the UK and the Society for the Protection of Turtles in Cyprus, as Newsweek reported.

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Jag_cz / iStock / Getty Images Plus

More than a thousand sharks and rays have become entangled in jettisoned fishing gear and plastic debris, a new study has found. The researchers behind the study warn that the plastic trapping the sharks and rays may cause starvation and suffocation.

Read More Show Less
In 2018, the Arctic region had the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage on record. NOAAPMEL / YouTube

The Arctic is still warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth, and the region's air temperatures in the past five years between 2014-2018 have exceeded all previous records since 1900, according to a peer-reviewed report released by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday.

The agency's 13th annual Arctic Report Card also concluded that 2018 was second only to 2016 in terms of the region's overall warmth.

Read More Show Less
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Kunhui Chih / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Plastic debris washed up on remote islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans has killed hermit crabs, which mistake the plastic for shells, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Ghost nests continue fishing long after they have been abandoned. Josephine Jullian / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A lot of the discussion around ocean plastic pollution focuses on consumer items like bottles, bags and straws. But a new Greenpeace report zeroes in on a different plastic threat: lost or abandoned fishing gear.

Discarded plastic fishing equipment, dubbed "ghost gear," is especially dangerous to marine life because it was designed to trap and kill it.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Adult and infant sperm whales have been spotted in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Inf-Lite Teacher / CC BY-SA

By Chandra Salgado Kent

Scientific research doesn't usually mean being strapped in a harness by the open paratroop doors of a Vietnam-war-era Hercules plane. But that's the situation I found myself in several years ago, the result of which has just been published in the journal Marine Biodiversity.

Read More Show Less
Sunrise over the grassy Assateague dunes in Assateague, Maryland. Eric B. Walker / Flickr

By Pete Stauffer

The partial shutdown of the federal government reached its 16th day on Monday with no immediate resolution in sight. With border security politics dominating the headlines, Republican and Democrat lawmakers remained locked in a stalemate while President Trump signaled a willingness to keep the government shut down for months or even years. The upshot is that dozens of federal agencies remain closed or operating at minimum capacity until the gridlock in DC is resolved.

Read More Show Less
#Break Free from Plastic written on the beach using collected bottle caps. Chanklang Kanthong / Greenpeace

By Kate Melges

Much of the stuff that accumulates during the holidays comes with single-use plastic packaging. We open a gift, rip it out of the package and toss the plastic into a bin, hoping it will get recycled and not end up polluting our oceans.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of single-use plastic is not recycled. In fact, only 9 percent of the plastics ever created have actually been recycled. And much of it ends up in our oceans. Every single minute, the equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the ocean, harming marine life and entering seafood supply chains around the world. For a long time, corporations have tried to pass the blame and responsibility to all of us so they could continue churning out cheap throwaway packaging in the name of profit.

Read More Show Less
Teenager Alex Weber and friends collected nearly 40,000 golf balls hit into the ocean from a handful of California golf courses. Alex Weber / CC BY-ND

By Matthew Savoca

Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.

As a scientist researching marine plastic pollution, I thought I had seen a lot. Then, early in 2017, I heard from Alex Weber, a junior at Carmel High School in California.

Read More Show Less
Ocean Cleanup's System 001 is towed out of the San Francisco Bay in San Francisco, California on Sept. 8, 2018. Ray Chavez / Digital First Media / East Bay Times via Getty Images

An enormous floating device designed by Dutch scientists for the non-profit Ocean Cleanup successfully captured and removed plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the company announced Wednesday, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
This photo taken on May 19, 2018 shows plastic waste on a garbage-filled beach on the Freedom island critical habitat and ecotourism area near Manila in the Philippines. NOEL CELIS / AFP / Getty Images

Coca-Cola was found to be the most polluted brand in the world for the second year in a row, according to a global audit of collected plastic trash conducted by the Break Free From Plastic global movement, as The Intercept reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) on Hikkaduwa coral reef, Sri Lanka. danilovi / E+ / Getty Images

Endangered green turtles are having a problem. They're mistaking plastic pollution for the seaweed they survive on, according to new research from the University of Exeter in the UK and the Society for the Protection of Turtles in Cyprus, as Newsweek reported.

Read More Show Less
Jag_cz / iStock / Getty Images Plus

More than a thousand sharks and rays have become entangled in jettisoned fishing gear and plastic debris, a new study has found. The researchers behind the study warn that the plastic trapping the sharks and rays may cause starvation and suffocation.

Read More Show Less
In 2018, the Arctic region had the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage on record. NOAAPMEL / YouTube

The Arctic is still warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth, and the region's air temperatures in the past five years between 2014-2018 have exceeded all previous records since 1900, according to a peer-reviewed report released by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday.

The agency's 13th annual Arctic Report Card also concluded that 2018 was second only to 2016 in terms of the region's overall warmth.

Read More Show Less
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

A seagull pecks at a plastic bag on Jan. 30, 2017, in Venice Beach, California. Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

By Lorraine Chow

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.

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picture-alliance / AP Photo / NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Florida's Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier, where the record-breaking beach cleanup took place Saturday. Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A literal wave of mostly plastic marine debris, including beverage bottles and takeaway containers, was filmed washing ashore Montesinos Beach in the Dominican Republic capital after a storm on Thursday.

The footage was captured by the environmental nonprofit Parley for the Oceans, which described the plastic flow as a "dense garbage carpet."

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The Cora Ball can be dropped inside a washing machine to snag free-floating microfibers before they go down the drain. Rozalia Project

As Fashion Week kicks off in New York City Thursday, it's a good time to think about the impact that our clothing has on the environment.

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Multicolored balloons flying to the sky. Jakkree Thampitakkull / Getty Images

Acting Sub Lt.niwat Thumma / EyeEm / Getty Images

The movement to ban plastic straws has gained major momentum this month, with Seattle's ban going into effect July 1 and companies like Starbucks, Hyatt and American Airlines all agreeing to phase the sucking devices out as well.

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