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A world drowning in plastic pollution

More than 1.3 billion tonnes of plastic will be dumped on land and in the oceans over the period from 2016 to 2040 unless the world acts, say a team of 17 global experts who have developed a computer model to track the stocks and flows of plastic around the world.The modelling suggests that even with immediate and concerted efforts, 710 million tonnes of will be discarded into the environment—460 million tonnes on land and 250 million tonnes in watercourses.In a groundbreaking study, they have revealed the scale of a problem caused by global waste management systems unable to cope with the increasing volume of plastic waste.Although the study's primary focus was to investigate how plastic reached the oceans, it has also revealed that each year nearly 30 million tonnes is dumped on land and nearly 50 million tonnes is burned in the open—in addition to the 11 million tonnes ending up in the seas.The level of pollution is predicted to rise on an annual basis. In the year…

Study: Massive expected plastic pollution can be curbed

Currently available solutions could halt up to 80% of plastic pollution flowing into the ocean and the ground annually within 20 years, per a new analysis published in Science Thursday.Threat level: Without urgent action, the yearly flow of plastics into the ocean globally is expected to nearly triple to 29 million tons by 2040 — and remain at that level for hundreds of years. Even under the best-case of curbing pollution, plastic's long degradation time means there'll still be a large amount, or roughly 710 million metric tons, of cumulative plastic pollution, researchers warn.Details: The analysis, conducted by an international collaboration by Pew Charitable Trusts, SYSTEMIQ and others over two years, modeled six scenarios (including business-as-usual) that quantified the flow and amount of plastic in the global system and compared the quantity of pollution between 2016 and 2040."This was really the first comprehensive study of the full plastic system, from production …

Report: Plastic most common beach pollutant

LIHU'E — The first annual Beach Cleanup Report has been issued by the Surfrider Foundation, analyzing results from all of the coastal cleanups done nationwide by the organization in 2019.The results from Surfrider's 2019 Beach Cleanup Program confirm the current reality that plastic is the most common material found on the beaches. It also shows the percentage of microplastics continues to increase. Nine out of the top 10 items collected on the beaches were plastic, and 25% of all items collected were plastic fragments smaller than a dime.Some of the top items collected in 2019 were plastic fragments, food wrappers and foam fragments, cigarette butts, rope, bottles and their caps and plastic straws.In Hawai'i, the organization catalogued 283 cleanups statewide in 2019, compared to 367 in California, 43 in Oregon, 48 in Florida and 17 in the Northeast. On Kaua'i, the report details the work of 3,200 volunteers who removed 107,215 pounds of marine debris from Kaua'i&…

Rafting guides on one of NZ’s longest rivers pull half a tonne of plastic out of Buller Gorge

Rafting guides on one of our longest rivers say they've pulled half a tonne of plastic out from the Buller gorge.Your playlist will load after this adThey say much of the pollution is plastic wrapping from farms and conservationists are calling for tougher rules to make sure it's properly taken care of. Source: 1 NEWSWild Rivers Rafting co-owner Bruce Thomas showed the extent of the problem to 1 NEWS and says bits of plastic can typically be seen "every 50 to 100 metres".For a guide who's spent a decade showing the pristine waters off to the world, it's an embarrassment."This is our magic, look at this place, this is awesome," Mr Thomas exclaimed."And then we get plastic all down the riverbanks and it totally messes with that."He organised clean up trips and estimates they've removed half a tonne of plastic so far."It's 170km of river and we've probably done two thirds of it."Mr Thomas says much of the pollution is pl…

The Plastic Free July challenge is here to help you rid your life of single-use plastic waste

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© TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/AFP via Getty Images A person with their lunch in a plastic bag walks in midtown in New York in February 2020. Unlike dance battles and dangerous dares, here's a "challenge" just about anyone can get behind.The Australia-based Plastic Free Foundation is once again recruiting participants to take the Plastic Free July challenge -- that is to go without single-use plastic for one day, one week or the entire month of July."Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution -- so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities," the organizers say on their website. "Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?"The initiative, now in its ninth year, is spearheaded by the Australia-based Plastic Free Foundation, which aims to one day rid the world of plastic waste.The annual event aims to provide resources and guides to …

How a file box full of plastic got two Louisiana women arrested for terrorizing

Anne Rolfes and Kate McIntosh, environmental activists with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, turned themselves into the Baton Rouge Police Department Thursday to be booked on counts stemming from a plastic pollution awareness event that took place more than six months ago.Rolfes was booked with terrorizing, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. McIntosh was booked with principal to terrorizing. Each was released Thursday afternoon after posting $5,000 bond.The charge stems from a protest of sorts in which the women left a file box full of plastic pellets, also called nurdles, on the doorstep of Greg Bowser, a lobbyist for the chemical industry. The nurdles were found in Texas bays near a plastic manufacturing facility owned by Formosa Plastics.A police detective called a lawyer representing the pair to alert them that there was a warrant out for their arrest.The women left the file box that triggered the charges at Bowser's Baton Rouge home on Dec. 11. Police officers cont…