The Ocean Cleanup, which has raised $35 million in donations to fund the project, including from Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, will deploy 60 free-floating barriers in the Pacific Ocean by 2020.
And our planet’s modifier is in trouble. It’s a Neptune 911 crisis. What can we do to combat our ocean’s struggle with marine debris, hypoxia and acidification? The answers are found in university labs, recognized in world organizations, and ignored by feckless politicians and leaders.
The study, which took a “citizen science” approach to data collection, is the first of its kind in Switzerland. More than 150 trained volunteers participated. In total, they examined 95,971 pieces of litter collected on the shores of Swiss rivers and lakes.
Prevention starts when consumers refuse to use plastic, or lawmakers try to ban it bag by bag. Also following the adage of reduce, reuse, and recycle what you don’t refuse. But much of the trash that comes ashore appears to come from foreign places or as the detritus from industries notorious for ocean litter.
“Given their pervasive and persistent nature, microplastics have become a global environmental concern and a potential risk to human populations,” said Rachel Hurley from the University of Manchester and colleagues in their report, published in Nature Geoscience.
“From acidification to the worsening impacts of hurricanes, climate change is negatively affecting our oceans and coastal communities. In addition, plastic waste and marine litter pose an increasingly serious threat to our oceans, marine life, and human health. In fact, there is so much plastic in our oceans that, without action, it is estimated there will be more plastics in our oceans than fish, by 2050. This global problem requires action, and Canada is working with international partners to see our oceans protected from waste and the impacts of climate change. As Canadatakes on the G7 presidency in 2018, we will continue to advance global efforts on climate change, oceans, and clean energy.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“There is now evidence that some of these toxins on the microplastics can be transferred to animals that eat them, with potential harmful effects.”
“Microplastics have been found in mussels everywhere scientists have looked,” she said.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – More than 200 countries signed a U.N. resolution in Nairobi on Wednesday to eliminate plastic pollution in the sea, a move some delegates hoped would pave the way to a legally binding treaty. If current pollution rates… Read More ›