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Plastic Pollution Coalition. Tesco, Aldi and Carrefour: Stop dumping plastic waste into our oceans! Seabird stomach contents show plastic pollution on the rise. Philadelphia Inquirer, July 22, 2012 Seabird stomach contents show plastic pollution on the rise By Sandy Bauers The northern fulmar, a relative of the albatross that forages for all its food at sea, turns out to be an excellent indicator of marine plastic pollution.

To the detriment of the bird, evidently. Apparently, they eat a lot of plastic and retain it in their bodies for long periods of time. Analysis of dead fulmars' stomach contents has been used as an indicator of plastic pollution in the North Sea since the 1980s. Now, a group of researchers led by a zoologist at the University of British Columbia has determined -- by examining stomach contents of fulmars off the northwest coast of North America -- that pollution there is nearly as bad as that in the North Sea. The research group performed necropsies -- the wildlife equivalent of autopsies -- on 67 northern fulmars that had died ashore or washed ashore. Well, these birds were dead. Copyright © 2012 Disturbing Video of a Seagull Eating a Plastic Bag. Written by Jaymi Heimbuch If you wonder why plastic bag bans are important, here’s your demonstration. This is just one bird out of millions that consume our used plastic — just one species out of thousands of species that are killed daily by eating what they think is food.

(And don’t say, “Well it just shows how stupid they are,” because that’s about the lamest response one can muster on this issue. The fact is we’re allowing plastic to enter into the food chain eventually to eat it ourselves so we’re the stupid ones.) I have to admit, I really don’t get how the videographer couldn’t stop the seagull from eating the bag. I guess I understand the need to witness the full event in order to make the point, and stopping this one incident wouldn’t stop the same bird from eating a bag found a half a mile away. So, there you have it. Barnacles are accidentally eating our plastic trash. Barnacles in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are attaching themselves to trash and eating little plastic particles.

Researchers don’t yet know the implications of these findings, but it’s a safe bet that they’re not good. American scientists inspected the gastrointestinal tracts of 385 gooseneck barnacles collected from the garbage patch, aka the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, and found microplastic in a third of them. Some specimens had a single piece of plastic in their stomach, while others had gobbled down as many as 30. Results of this research were published Tuesday in the journal PeerJ. Miriam Goldstein of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography described her research in the blog Deep Sea News: Gooseneck barnacles look kind of freaky. The barnacles are eaten by crabs, nudibranchs, and other marine creatures that are hunted, in turn, by birds, fish, and dolphins. As Goldstein says, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to learn that barnacles are eating the ubiquitous plastic waste. A surprisingly pleasant song about plastic pollution. If you’re like the Amazing Mr. Smashing, you’re probably singing and chucking water bottles at sea otters.

If so, why don’t you kick some puppies while you’re at it? If not, phew — you’re off the hook. Or not. It turns out that most of the junk in the ocean is plastic, and chances are, some of it’s yours. The video, by illustrator Edward Ward, was produced by Seas at Risk, a Brussels-based group fighting the good fight against ocean trash. Nice work, Europe. Addicted To Plastic 2009 Part 1 of 6. Drowning in Plastic. I’ve been living in Central America the last few months — Costa Rica, for the most part. There have been many interesting experiences along the way, but perhaps the most significant for me is access to the ocean. The Pacific Coast is just a couple hours away by bus. I’m almost 30 and, though I’ve lived all over the world, have never swum in the ocean before.

The closest I came was dipping a toe into the East China Sea. This week, I took a day off in order to make the trip to the beach town of Puntarenas. It wasn’t a great initial impression, but we’d traveled a long way to swim, so I shook it off and headed out to the water. After all, we all know plastic isn’t biodegradable, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still degrade. Of course, neither one of us could bring ourselves to dunk our head below water and add to our bodies’ plastic counts. You’ve heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, I’m sure. Sure, you can go to a private resort and the beach looks pristine.

Related stories: Plastics in Our Diet. ShaunFrankson: What does your footprint look ... MIDWAY - Plastic Beach. Look who’s eating your plastic now: A whole unprecedented ecosystem. We already knew that barnacles, lanternfish, and whales have been gobbling up plastic. It turns out that the problem is even bigger than we thought — because it is much, much smaller. Welcome to the “plastisphere,” the tiny plastic-based ecosystem developing within the world’s oceans. The alien-sounding title is fitting, as scientists have found more than 1,000 species of microbes living there, some of which still have not been identified. The group of organisms supported by the plastic was significantly different from, and much more diverse than, other microbial communities in the ocean, suggesting that the plastic particles are providing a haven for microbes that otherwise might not survive, or even arise in the first place.

The study, done by a team in Woods Hole, Mass., took a high-resolution look at plastic particles between 1 and 5 millimeters in size (I believe the unscientific term is “itty bitty specks”). MIDWAY - a film by Chris Jordan. Stop Plastic Pollution From Killing Ocean Animals.

The microbeads in your body wash are slowly filling the Great Lakes with plastic. Sigh. You think the world would have caught on by now that plastic is one of the most incidentally destructive inventions the human race has ever come up with. Sure, L.A. just banned plastic bags, which is great. But meanwhile those tiny microbeads — the little bits of plastics in body wash that cosmetics companies invented for no real reason except to have a new thing to sell their customers — are slowly accumulating in the Great Lakes, where fish eat them.

Scientific American reports: They are too tiny for water treatment plants to filter, so they wash down the drain and into the Great Lakes. I know, I know. Meet Bette Midler With 2 Tickets to Her New Broadway Show, I'll Eat You Last on Friday June 28. Your plastic garbage is killing whales. Whales are eating plastic trash, dying, and washing ashore. It happened this summer in the Netherlands (technically the whale got stranded and THEN died); it happened this spring in Spain. Here are the guilt-inducing, gory details of the latter: Most of this plastic consisted of transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in Almeria and Grenada for the purpose of tomatoes for the European market. The rest was plastic bags, nine meters of rope, two stretches of hosepipe, two small flowerpots, and a plastic spray canister.

Cause of death was intestinal blockage. A WORLD OF UGH. This also happened closer to home — as in, close to Grist’s home in Seattle — three years ago: In April 2010, a gray whale that died after stranding itself on a west Seattle beach was found to have more than 20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, plastic pieces, duct tape, a pair of sweat pants, and a golf ball, not to mention other garbage contained in its stomach.

Clearly it’s time to ban sweatpants. Pharrell Williams presents G-Star RAW for the Oceans. Star RAW - RAW for the Oceans. Pharrell is making jeans out of recycled ocean plastic. Here’s some news to make you happy: Pharrell Williams not only makes catchy, sunny jams, but he’s trying to do something good with all the plastic junk in the Pacific. The musician and fashion designer announced at New York Fashion Week that he’s partnering with designer denim label G-Star RAW to create jeans out of ocean waste. And it’s not just gloriously tacky back-pocket bedazzling; the plastic is incorporated into the jeans as part of the core of each denim strand. It’s covered in an outer layer of cotton to create “bionic yarn.”

(But can it lift cars with a single hand?) Check out Williams’ promo video, which is light on the details but heavy on cute octopuses: The collection, G-Star RAW for the Oceans, will be available in mid-August. The Ocean Cleanup, developing technologies to extract, prevent and intercept plastic pollution.