Less than half of the 280 million metric tons of plastic produced each year ends up in the landfill. A fair bit of the rest ends up littering the landscape, blown by the wind or washed down streams and rivers into the sea.
So far Americans spend $520 million a year to clean up plastic litter washing up on beaches and shorelines. Efforts to clean up the oceans' enormous swirling gyres of garbage has an incalculable cost. Thus, much of the focus has been on how to stop the river of trash from entering the ocean.
Recent research reveals that even remote areas of the oceans are affected by increasing levels of plastic waste on the seafloor. The study found that quantities of litter from human activities, mostly plastic, on the seabed of an isolated Arctic site, doubled from 2002 to 2011.
Around 60% of the Earth’s surface is covered by the seafloor, yet very little is known about how pollution has affected the deep ocean, in particular, remote areas such as the Arctic.
It was a lucky day for two large Hawksbill Turtles stuck in a turtle net off the coast of Viti Levu near Vuda Marina, Fiji.
On December 30th, Tony Koens – director/owner of Subsurface Fiji Adventure Diving and Watersportsand his partner Carina Bjers, also with Subsurface Fiji, decided to take their SUP (Standup Paddle Board) out for a leisurely afternoon paddle.
They left the beach and were headed towards Naisoso when a few hundred metres down the coast they spotted a large turtle net that had 250mm square mesh and was about 200 metres in length according to Tony.
In Miami, the world’s leading plastics associations launched a Progress Report on the Global Declaration of the Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter originally announced in March 2011 at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference.
Are the planet’s oceans doomed to become its waste bin? Marine litter – plastics, wood, metal, rubber, paper and other debris – from human activity continues to invade and pollute oceans and seas, posing a serious threat to the coastal and marine environment worldwide.
Just a few weeks ago, Associate Director, Mike Holme helped kick start the Marine Debris Master Plan in Koh Tao, Thailand - one of five Project AWARE Ocean Action Projects being implemented across the globe.
Litter and improper disposal of rubbish is a major problem throughout Asia. The Koh Tao community has worked hard to re-manage the way waste is dealt with. But these methods only treat the symptoms.
During September’s Debris Month of Action thousands of scuba divers around the world took action to tackle the ocean’s silent killer and provide a global snapshot of the debris issues plaguing our ocean planet.
Tires, glass bottles, hooks, fishing lines, discarded fishing nets — you name it, divers removed it from the sea floor and coral reef before bringing it to the surface to be sorted and disposed of properly.
In Thailand on the island of Ko Haa, a group of Scubafish divers recently rescued three sea turtles struggling for their lives.
It was the end of a beautiful day diving when the boat captain spotted something unusual floating on the surface of the water. As the divers got closer they found a huge discarded fishing net with three entangled turtles, trapped and struggling to breathe.
Where: Armada Drive (above the Flower Fields/past Karl Strauss in Carlsbad, CA)
When: 10am-8pm (Saturday, 9/22) and 10am-5pm (Sunday, 9/23)
What: Come visit New Ocean Blue’s booth at Carlsbad’s street fair Art Splash where you will be able to learn about the dangers of plastic pollution and create shark puppets out of used plastic bags! This is a family event, so bring the whole bunch!