Plastic Pollution: The Problems and a Possible Solution

Written by on March 11, 2013 in Other News

UPDATE – March 15
Check out this article from Forbes about Method, another company that uses 100 percent post-consumer plastic in all of its bottles. Method is now turning to recycling plastic from the ocean which is a much more challenging mission.

Plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution. Photo credit: cesarharada.com via photopin cc.

Plastic pollution is a problem worldwide. How exactly is it affecting our oceans and what is being done about it?

Last week, AFP reported that the 4.5 ton sperm whale found on a beach in southern Spain last year had died form ingesting too much plastic. The whale had over 37 pounds (17kg) of plastic blocking its stomach. Unfortunately, it’s not the only animal consuming plastic in the ocean…

A couple years ago, researchers found that about 9 percent of fish living near the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch had plastic in their stomachs. Just last month, researchers in the UK found that over a third of fish living in the English Channel had microplastics (tiny fragments on plastic) in their digestive systems.

From discarded fishing lines and the rings around a six-pack to microscopic fragments from body scrubs, plastic is hurting our ocean. Save Our Shores notes that 86 percent of sea turtle species are affected by ocean pollution. According to TakePart, over 100,000 marine mammals and nearly one million seabirds die every year from either ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic.

With this in mind, check out this article from Resource magazine about a joint initiative between plastic manufacturer Closed Loop Recycling and sustainable cleaning products brand Ecover to recover and reuse plastic from our oceans.

Their plan is to collect plastic debris from UK waters and use it to create new packaging products. Hopefully, their trials will be a success and this great idea will spread to other places around the world.

To learn more:

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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  1. Eugene Bortey says:

    Thankz for the interesting results but i feel one of the best way to deal with problem is bioremediation. The problem now is “finding the best microbes for the work”? But that lead me to an interestion abstract of converting plastic to electricity in the 6 Ghana biomed conference. The report show that de usage of plastic to glucose by the bacterial is 1.15 : 1 respectively. Thantz again to science research.

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