Humans produced nearly 300 million tons of plastic in 2012, but where does it end up? A new study has found plastic debris in a surprising location: trapped in Arctic sea ice. As the ice melts, it could release a flood of floating plastic onto the world.
Every year, millions of tonnes of litter end up in Europe's streets, oceans, beaches, forests and natural areas. And every year millions of Europeans get out in their neighborhoods to clean up in voluntary actions. "Let's Clean up Europe" is an initiative that aims to encourage more such actions, to raise awareness about the scale of the litter and waste problems, and to encourage changes in behaviour. The event is being coordinated by the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR).
A major new survey of the seafloor has found that even in the deepest ocean depths you can find bottles, plastic bags, fishing nets and other types of human litter.
The litter was found throughout the Mediterranean, and all the way from the continental shelf of Europe to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 2,000 kilometres from land. Litter is a problem in the marine environment as it can be mistaken for food and eaten by some animals or can entangle coral and fish – a process known as "ghost fishing".