But ocean plastics pose a threat to a wide variety of marine animals, and their risk is determined by the amount of debris an animal encounters, as well as the size and shape of the debris.
Microplastics in Ocean
A new global review led by the University of Exeter that set out to investigate the hazards of marine plastic pollution has warned that all seven species of marine turtles can ingest or become entangled in the discarded debris that… Read More ›
The chemicals that Padula looks for in sea birds are called phthalates. They are a family of chemicals used to make plastic more flexible, and they can leach into the muscle and liver tissues of birds.
Padula found those chemicals in all of the birds she collected in the west Aleutians. But only some birds had visible pieces of plastic in their stomach.
Plastic waste causes $13 billion in damage to marine ecosystems each year, according to the UN Environment Program. California and cities including Chicago, Seattle and Portland have banned single-use plastic bags.
“The implications are obvious and severe,” said Jim Elliott, director of the Center for Birds of Prey, about the discovery of the repellents and retardants in all 27 birds sampled among eagles, hawks and owls. “Who’s next on the (food chain) ladder? It’s us.”
A UC Davis researcher is studying whether tiny bits of plastic used in face washes, toothpaste and other consumer products are accumulating in Sacramento-area rivers and flowing out to the Pacific Ocean. Microbeads are tiny synthetic particles barely noticeable to… Read More ›
Reading about ocean plastic makes one marvel at what man has wrought. According to National Geographic, trash from North America makes a mighty six-year voyage to reach “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” where it hooks up with trash from Asia. Ocean currents form these areas of spinning debris that researchers are only now starting to measure.
The Natural History Museum reports: Deep-sea sediments are accumulating tiny fragments of plastic in surprisingly high concentrations, scientists have discovered. The accumulations represent a previously unknown repository of global plastic waste. Marine plastic debris in surface waters and coastal sediments… Read More ›
Plastic is the most pervasive pollutant in the ocean today. But researchers have struggled to estimate just how much of the 6 billion tons of plastic that has been manufactured since the mid-20th century ultimately winds up in the ocean…. Read More ›