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Trump's Repeal of Plastic Water Bottle Ban in National Parks Depicts Lobbying Power of Big Business

Last week, the Trump administration announced a repeal of the bottled water ban throughout our national park system.

Amidst the current political turbulence among a series of hot button issues this decision might seem trivial, but it's really not. Here's why:

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Trump Watch

Trump Eliminates Plastic Water Bottle Ban in National Parks, Removes White House Bikeshare Station

President Trump has made sweeping efforts to scrap Obama-era environmental protections, but the current administration's latest moves are oddly specific.

The National Park Service (NPS) announced Wednesday that it has rescinded the 2011 "Water Bottle Ban" that allowed parks to prohibit the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. That same day, news emerged that the Trump administration removed a nine-slot Capital Bikeshare station at the White House that was requested and installed during the Obama years and used by staffers.

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Animals
Anchovies are eating plastic because it smells like prey, study finds. Photo credit: David Abercrombie/Flickr

Another Reason to Ditch Plastic—It Smells Like Food to Fish

We know that the massive amount of plastic that's continually dumped into our oceans can end up in the stomachs of marine species (and ultimately on our plates), but why would they want to eat it?

Well, new research suggests that fish are not just accidentally gobbling up our plastic trash—they could be actively seeking it out because they like how the debris smells and are confusing it for their natural prey.

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Meet the Brothers Kayaking Down the World's Most Polluted River

By Gary Bencheghib and Sam Bencheghib

We have all heard about the accumulation of plastic pollution in our ocean and the devastating effects it is having on marine life, but very little has been done to stop the plastic from its source.

With more than 80 percent of plastic pollution in the ocean originating from rivers and streams, we have decided to create a shocking visual of the world's most polluted river, the Citarum in Indonesia, by kayaking down it on two plastic bottle kayaks made from repurposed trash.

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Animals
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Fighting for a Plastic-Free Ocean

By Pete Stauffer

Plastic pollution is suffocating the ocean and the animals that call it home. Researchers estimate there are now more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean and the number grows every day. This pollution is ravaging our marine ecosystems, entangling and choking wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish and turtles. Plastic never biodegrades, it only spreads and it's now polluting every part of the ocean—from beaches, reefs and deep ocean trenches to the frigid waters of the Arctic.

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Animals
Dead whale shark buried at Pamban South Beach in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. @TOIChennai

Whale Shark Found Dead, Plastic Spoon Stuck in Digestive System

An 18-foot long whale shark washed up dead on Pamban South Beach in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.

"The cause of death is found to be heavy internal injuries it has suffered when it either hit a rock or a big vessel," local wildlife ranger S Sathish told the Times of India.

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Costa Rica Wants to Become World's First Country to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics

Costa Rica wants to become the world's first country to achieve a comprehensive national strategy to eliminate single-use plastics by 2021.

The Central American nation intends to replace these wasteful, ocean-clogging items—such as plastic store bags, straws, coffee stirrers, containers and plastic cutlery—for biodegradable or water-soluble alternatives, or products made of renewable materials (think plant starches).

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This South Pacific Nation Is Saying Goodbye to Single-Use Plastic Bags and Bottles

By Marnie Cunningham

The Pacific nation of Vanuatu is addressing its waste problem by banning certain plastic items. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai made a public declaration on Independence Day (July 30) that they would be phasing out the use of plastic bags and bottles.

According to the Vanuatu Daily Post, PM Salwai stated in his announcement that it was his government's priority to protect Vanuatu's environment and oceans and to keep the country "clean and safe."

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LEGO Tests Bricks Made From Wheat in Effort to Ditch Plastic

Fresh after meeting its 100 percent renewable energy milestone, LEGO is making progress towards its 2030 goal of replacing 20 types of its traditional, petroleum-based bricks with sustainable alternatives.

Quartz reports that the 84-year-old Danish toymaker is experimenting with bioplastics, which is made from plants or other biodegradable materials.

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