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Animals

73% of Deep-Sea Fish Have Ingested Plastic

Microplastics can really be found everywhere, even in the stomachs of creatures living deep underwater.

Marine scientists from the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Galway found the plastic bits in 73 percent of 233 deep-sea fish collected from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean—one of the highest microplastic frequencies in fish ever recorded worldwide.

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An Arctic tern entangled in fishing gear. Governor of Svalbard / Norwegian Polar Institute Facebook

'Plastic in All Sizes' Found Everywhere in Once Pristine European Arctic

A disturbing amount of plastic is building up in the once-pristine European Arctic.

According to a study from the Norwegian Polar Institute, "plastic in all sizes" can be found throughout the Norwegian Arctic and in the Svalbard islands, an archipelago between Norway's mainland and the North Pole that's also one of Earth's northernmost inhabited areas.

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Animals
Whale sharks can ingest 200 pieces of plastic per day.

Microplastics Pose Major Problems for Ocean Giants

Some of our oceans' largest creatures are being threatened by the tiniest bits of plastic that litter our seas, a new analysis published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution found.

Filter-feeding marine animals such as manta rays and whale sharks swallow hundreds to thousands of cubic meters of water a day to capture plankton to eat. But at the same time, these gentle giants are swallowing up microplastics from plastic-filled waters or through contaminated prey.

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Nursery Bans Glitter, Calls on Others to Follow Their Example

By Imogen Calderwood

Glitter is great, right? Particularly now that it's getting dark and cold and a bit depressing outside.

But, as much as we love glitter for making everything look festive, a chain of children's nurseries in the UK might actually have a point.

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Alain Bachellier / Flickr

Plastic Trash Found in Ocean Animals Living 7 Miles Deep

Plastic trash can really be found on all corners of the Earth—even in the stomachs of deep-sea organisms, according to a new study from Newcastle University in England.

Led by Dr. Alan Jamieson, the researchers found microfibers in crustaceans from six of the deepest places on the planet, the Mariana, Japan, Izu-Bonin, Peru-Chile, New Hebrides and Kermadec trenches.

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Why Glitter Must Be Banned

By Daniel Ross

All that glitters ain't gold, or so the old adage goes. And when it comes to the glitter used in everyday cosmetics, specialty make-up, hair products and party paraphernalia, the negative effects on human health and the environment are indeed far from golden.

"They really do get into everything, and despite their tiny size, they can have a devastating impact on humans and non-human animals," wrote Trisia Farrelly, a social anthropologist at Massey University in New Zealand and an expert in waste plastics, in an email to AlterNet.

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You're Probably Drinking Plastic in Your Tap Water

We know that plastics clog our oceans, lakes and the stomachs of marine animals, but a first-of-its-kind investigation from Orb Media found the pervasive material in tap water supplies around the world, too.

Orb, a digital media nonprofit, worked with researchers at the State University of New York and the University of Minnesota and analyzed 159 drinking water samples across five continents over a ten-month period. The results indicated that plastics are just about everywhere—83 percent of the samples tested positive for the presence of tiny plastic particles, aka microplastics.

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Pledge to End Ocean Plastics

By Louisa Casson

We know our oceans and coastlines are choking on plastic. We've all seen plastic bottles, food wrappers and plastic bags polluting beaches, and been horrified by the stories of marine creatures like seabirds and whales starving when their stomachs become packed full of plastic.

Scientists have shown that up to 12 million tonnes of plastic is entering our oceans every year—that's a rubbish truck full every minute. Single-use plastic packaging for food and drink is a particularly common part of the problem.

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Australian Researchers: 'We Found Evidence of Microplastics Pretty Much Everywhere We Looked'

A lot of attention is paid to the floating junkyards on our high seas, but a new study highlights how the problem of marine plastic goes much deeper.

Australian researchers were surprised to find high concentrations of microplastics embedded in the seafloor along the southeast coast of Australia.

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