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Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

Greenpeace Finds Microplastics and Hazardous Chemicals in Remote Antarctic Waters

Another day, another sign of the reach of the global ocean plastics crisis. A Greenpeace expedition to Antarctica turned up microplastics in more than half of ocean water samples taken in the world's southernmost waters. It also found chemicals dangerous to wildlife in a majority of snow samples, Greenpeace reported Wednesday.

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Animals
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Microplastics May Heat Marine Turtle Nests and Produce More Females

By Mariana Fuentes

Have you ever considered that small pieces of plastic less than 5 millimeters long, or smaller than a pencil eraser head, called microplastics, can affect large marine vertebrates like sea turtles?

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Oceans
Dedee Verdin / Kids Ocean Day

LA Kids Make Waves for a Plastic-Free Ocean

By Taryn Kiekow Heimer

Kids Ocean Day—a day that inspired nearly 4,500 Los Angeles-area children to clean up nearby beaches—celebrated its 25th Anniversary last Thursday. The day started with a beach cleanup at Dockweiler State Beach, which was followed by a news conference and kick-off program where Emmett Kliger, a fifth grade student from Citizens of the World Charter School Mar Vista, recited a poem he created to commemorate the anniversary of Kids Ocean Day. The event concluded with a giant aerial art WAVE the children created with their bodies, a picture so large it could only be seen from the sky. This year's theme was "Kids Making Waves for a Plastic-Free Ocean," which highlighted the importance of teamwork for keeping our ocean clean for future generations.

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Marco Verch / CC BY 2.0

Dangerous Chemicals From E-Waste Found in Black Plastics From Toys to Drink Stirrers

Recycling is often touted as a universal environmental good, but a new study from the University of Plymouth found that improper recycling of electronic waste means that dangerous chemicals are finding their way into black plastics used in consumer goods, with potentially negative consequences for human health and marine life.

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Health
Milk fish. Bernard Spragg. NZ / Flickr

Scientists Launch Groundbreaking Study on Health Risks of Microplastics in Seafood

Each year, 8 million tons of plastic leaches into our oceans. That trash is inadvertently consumed by fish and other marine life, thus impacting the larger food chain. In fact, studies have already found that sea salt can be rich in plastic and that we likely consume the tiny bits that get embedded in many types of seafood.

Despite the pervasiveness of plastic, not much is known about how consuming it affects human health.

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Shutterstock

Microplastics Pollute Rivers and Lakes, Too

By Kennedy Bucci and Chelsea Rochman

When you think of microplastic pollution, plastic debris less than five millimeters in size, you likely envision the ocean—probably because ocean gyres gained notoriety for being a microplastic soup.

But what about our lakes, rivers, forests and fields? They can be just as contaminated with microplastic debris as the oceans.

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Health

Humans Eat More Than 100 Plastic Fibers With Each Meal

The proliferation of microplastics in the ocean has led to concerns that they might work their way up the food chain to us.

But when researchers at Heriot-Watt University set out to investigate that concern, they found that plastics in our own homes pose a much greater threat to humans.

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We’re Drowning in Seas of Plastic

The fossil fuel era must end, or it will spell humanity's end. The threat isn't just from pollution and accelerating climate change. Rapid, wasteful exploitation of these valuable resources has also led to a world choked in plastic. Almost all plastics are made from fossil fuels, often by the same companies that produce oil and gas.

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Marine debris laden beach in Hawaii. NOAA Marine Debris Program / Flickr

Ocean Plastic Projected to Triple Within Seven Years

If we don't act now, plastic pollution in the world's oceans is projected to increase three-fold within seven years, according to a startling new report.

The Future of the Sea report, released Wednesday for the UK government, found that human beings across the globe produce more than 300 million metric tons of plastic per year. Unfortunately, a lot of that material ends up in our waters, with the total amount of plastic debris in the sea predicted to increase from 50 million metric tons in 2015 to 150 million metric tons by 2025.

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