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Oceans
Plastic pollution on a beach in Hawaii. NOAA

Study Finds New Reason to Ban Plastic: It Emits Methane in the Sun

The proliferation of plastic pollution has led to concerns over its impact on marine life and human health as the toxins it absorbs and emits move up the food chain. Now, a new study reveals yet another potential plastic hazard: It releases greenhouse gasses.

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Acting Sub Lt.niwat Thumma / EyeEm / Getty Images

Plastic Straw Bans Have Unintended Consequences for People with Disabilities

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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Oceans
Chile's #ChaoBolsasPlásticas campaign notes that by 2050, plastic is expected to outweigh fish in the sea. @MMAChile / Twitter

Plastics Industry Loses Legal Bid Against Chile's Landmark Bag Ban

Chile's Constitutional Court ratified a bill that bans plastic bags across the country after rejecting an appeal from the plastics industry.

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Business
Some customers have reacted negatively to a single-use plastic bag ban rolled out early by the Australian supermarket Woolworths. Erostrend / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Aussie Retailers Brave Customer 'Bag Rage' to Save the Planet

The Australian states of Queensland and Western Australia, as well as the supermarket chains Coles, Big W and Woolworths joined the war on plastic pollution July 1 with new restrictions on single-use plastic bags, National Public Radio (NPR) reported. But some angry customers have been fighting back in a phenomenon the press is dubbing "bag rage."

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Business
velkr0 / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Texas Supreme Court Rules Cities Cannot Ban Plastic Bags

The Texas Supreme Court struck down the city of Laredo's plastic bag ban—a decision that will likely overturn similar bans in about a dozen other cities, including Austin, Fort Stockton and Port Aransas.

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Kai Schreiber / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

SeaWorld, American Express, Fast Food Chains to Curb Single-Use Plastics

Momentum is building in the war against single-use plastics. In the past week, a slew of major companies—including SeaWorld parks, American Express, cruise company Royal Caribbean, IKEA, A&W Canada and Burger King UK—have pledged to eliminate items such as plastic drinking straws, stirrers, lids and bags in efforts to protect our oceans and their inhabitants.

SeaWorld Entertainment announced Thursday, right before World Oceans Day, that all 12 of its theme parks have removed all single-use plastic drinking straws and shopping bags.

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Plastic bags pollute the Crocodile River in South Africa. JMK / GNU Free Documentation License

UN Launches First-Ever Global Plastics Report on World Environment Day

The theme for this year's World Environment Day, the world's largest environmental celebration which takes place June 5, is "Beat Plastic Pollution." In honor of the occasion, UN Environment released the first ever "state of plastics" report, tracking government action against plastic waste, a UN Environment press release reported.

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Animals

Whale's Tragic Death by Plastic Bags a Reminder of a Global Crisis

A pilot whale died in southern Thailand last week after swallowing 17 pounds of plastic waste, despite a five-day effort to save the animal's life.

A necropsy revealed that the plastic debris, which included 80 plastic bags, clogged the whale's stomach, Reuters reported.

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Oceans

Chile to Become First Country in the Americas to Ban Plastic Bags

Chile is set to become the first country in the Americas to ban plastic bags to help protect the environment and especially the ocean.

Congress unanimously approved the measure on Wednesday. The bill was initially designed to outlaw plastic bags in Patagonia, but was later extended nationwide.

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