Surface clean-up technology won’t solve ocean plastic problem


IMAGE: Plastic bag in the ocean
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Credit: Making Oceans Plastic Free

Clean-up devices that collect waste from the ocean surface won’t solve the plastic pollution problem, a new study shows.

Researchers compared estimates of current and future plastic waste with the ability of floating clean-up devices to collect it – and found the impact of such devices was “very modest”.
However, river barriers could be more effective and – though they have no impact on plastic already in the oceans – they could reduce pollution “significantly” if used in tandem with surface clean-up technology.

The study – by the University of Exeter, the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Jacobs University and Making Oceans Plastic Free – focusses on floating plastic, as sunk waste is difficult or impossible to remove depending on size and location.

The authors estimate that

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The Versatile Bag Line Upcycled from Plastic Bottles in Ocean Ecosystems

It’s all too easy to think of summer travel that could’ve been: that rafting trip planned with your crew, the yearly pilgrimage to Chicago’s Riot Fest, flying across the country to surf, the list goes on. Someday we’ll be there again, whining about overbooked flights and mishandled luggage along the way. Until then, we need to make the most of the end of summer and fall with the adventures reachable in a day’s drive. Because with limited ability to fly to someplace warmer, it could be a long winter ahead.

Once you’ve got the road trip planned, you’ll need to pack. This is where Nixon comes in with its new line of bags. And this isn’t just another collection for a new season—every piece in this line is made with REPREVE Our Ocean performance fibers.

On top of being extremely functional bags that we will one day tote through

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Ocean plastic is on track to triple by 2040

Plastic pollution in the ocean is on track to get a lot worse: In two decades, if business continues as usual, there will be nearly three times as much plastic waste leaking into the ocean every year, according to a new analysis. By 2040, since the existing plastic in the ocean isn’t degrading, there could be a cumulative total of 600 million tons of plastic in the water. But solutions exist now to eliminate the vast majority of the new waste.


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Plastic pollution is growing for several reasons, says Yoni Shiran, program director at Systemiq, a U.K.-based startup focused on sustainability that partnered with the Pew Charitable Trusts and others, including the plastic-focused Ellen MacArthur Foundation, on the report. As the global population grows, and as consumption grows quickly in many developing countries, people are using more plastic. “We’re also using cheaper plastics,” he says. “And those are

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Ocean Plastic Pollution Is on Track to Triple By 2040

(Bloomberg) — The annual flow of plastics into our oceans is on a trajectory to triple over the next 20 years, which could add up to 110 pounds of plastic trash for every meter of coastline worldwide, a new report finds.


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That path is not inevitable, however. The volume could be cut by 80%, the analysis found, by taking actions to reduce the growth of virgin plastic production, improve waste collection systems across the globe, and invest in the creation of plastic materials that are easier to recycle.

“There is a path where we can have substantial reduction,” said Dr. Winnie Lau, a co-author of the report and a senior manager with the preventing ocean plastics program at Pew Charitable Trusts. “We picked numbers that were realistic to achieve but not easy.”

The technical underpinnings of the report were published Wednesday in the journal Science. Its projections

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