Plastic pollution and potential solutions Sci Prog. So the best thing we can do to protect our waterways is try to keep as much plastic as possible out of the waste stream in the first place. Tires: An Emerging Threat to Our Waterways, Our Seafood, and Ourselves? By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. Jazz pianist Fabian Almazan started Biophilia Records to make great music—and environmental change. And we're not just talking about people dumping their garbage overboard. 5. 12, 2014 From plastic rocks to plastic nests, our use of plastics can have unintended effects Now they’re using it to bring international attention to the issue of ocean pollution. Those little plastic scrubbers found in so many beauty products—facial scrubs, toothpaste, body washes—might look harmless, but their tiny size allows them to slip through water-treatment plants. Help keep our marine life from eating and swimming in garbage. Though we can make a difference through our own habits, corporations obviously have a much bigger footprint. The media reports on the efforts of some to capture larger pieces of plastic from the ocean (the earth is 71% blue and no effort, no matter how herculean, could make a dent in cleaning plastic pollution once it has entered the oceans) and promotes products made with token amounts of plastic recovered from the environment as solutions. If you believe a company could be smarter about its packaging, make your voice heard. The good news? Take note of how often you rely on these products and replace them with reusable versions. We've made huge strides in keeping the things we throw away out of landfills. Pollution Chemistry may have solutions to our plastic trash problem ... says chemically recyclable polymers are the best solution to the problem of plastic trash. 1. The solution is to prevent plastic waste from entering rivers and seas in the first place, many scientists and conservationists—including the National Geographic Society —say. So, what are some of the scientific and technological solutions that may help reverse the devasting effects of plastic… Single-serving yogurts, travel-size toiletries, tiny packages of nuts—consider the product-to-packaging ratio of items you tend to buy often and select the bigger container instead of buying several smaller ones over time. Plastic, of course, is uniquely problematic because it’s nonbiodegradable and therefore sticks around for a lot longer (like up to 1,000 years longer) than other forms of trash. California just passed the first statewide bag ban in the nation. To learn more about #OceanPlastics this week, keep your eye on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , NOAA's Marine Debris Blog , and, of course, here. It depends—on you. Most beverage and liquid cleaner bottles will be #1 (PET), which is commonly accepted by most curbside recycling companies. Is shopping online or in-store better for the environment? The Gulf of Mexico Is Sending Out an S.O.S.—a Message in a Plastic Bottle. An Oregon community is making spectacular statues out of ocean plastic to raise awareness about a crisis at sea. Animals can get tangled up in this trash or ingest it—either because they mistake it as prey or because the plastic has been broken down into tiny particles by seawater. Avoid Using Bottled Water. Plastic pollution - Plastic pollution - Plastic pollution in oceans and on land: Since the ocean is downstream from nearly every terrestrial location, it is the receiving body for much of the plastic waste generated on land. But here’s the buzz-killing reality: There are millions of tons of debris floating around in that water—and most of it is plastic. The process is quite complicated and needs high investment. Five ways to indulge your sweet tooth and your spooky side without a whole lot of waste or frightful chemicals. Plastics that act as pollutants are categorized into micro-, meso-, or macro debris, based on size. New practices, and new chemistries, are needed to end the scourge 2018 Sep 1;101(3):207-260. doi: 10.3184/003685018X15294876706211. Search the shelves of thrift stores, neighborhood garage sales, or online postings for items that are just as good when previously used. This Voices asks: how can research inform swift and effective solutions to plastic pollution? © Natural Resources Defense Council 2020 Privacy Policy Each year, close to 20 billion plastic bottles are tossed in the trash. Make food packaging safe, healthy and green. Trending: How plastic is changing the world By Meghna Sachdev Jun. A new report estimates that around 700,000 tons of fishing gear are abandoned in the oceans each year. Not only is it healthier, but making your own meals doesn’t involve takeout containers or doggy bags. The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization that is developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic litter. Carry a reusable bottle in your bag, and you’ll never be caught having to resort to a Poland Spring or Evian again. 3. The amount of plastic we dump into our oceans each year could stretch halfway to Mars. It seems obvious, but we’re not doing a great job of it. Invest in a zippered fabric bag and request that your cleaned items be returned in it instead of sheathed in plastic. The world is drowning in plastic. Effective solutions to the global plastic-waste problem require a detailed understanding of the sources, sinks, and transport-pathway impacts of plastic waste. Scientists say the species could be functionally extinct in as little as 20 years—but there are some solutions within reach. Here's how you can take recycling to the next level—at home, at work, and in your community. NRDC’s Eric Goldstein gives the scoop on the latest environmental villain and explains why plastic straws really are a big menace to our oceans. To efficiently reduce plastic pollution, there is an evident need of reducing our usage of plastic. Austrian students transformed trash into a giant whale sculpture. its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. It only takes a few times of bringing your own bags to the store, silverware to the office, or travel mug to Starbucks before it becomes habit. What Does the Plastic Bag Ban Mean for New Yorkers? Reuse. Several million tonnes of debris end up in the world’s oceans every year, and much of it is improperly discarded plastic litter. Wean yourself off disposable plastics. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. Science-Based Solutions to Plastic Pollution, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.01.004. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports. There are many small ways you can have a big impact. People are advised to drink a lot of water, at least 8-ounce glasses every … Unfortunately, they also look just like food to some marine animals. Now the good news: We can curb this. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. Containers marked #2 (HDPE; typically slightly heavier-duty bottles for milk, juice, and laundry detergent) and #5 (PP; plastic cutlery, yogurt and margarine tubs, ketchup bottles) are also recyclable in some areas. This constant barrage (the equivalent of 136 billion milk jugs each year, estimates a study published in the journal Science) poses a serious danger to marine life. There is increasing evidence that rivers represent major conduits connecting terrestrial sources of plastic waste … 10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Pollution. Here’s everything you need to know before plastic carryout bags disappear from the Empire State on March 1.

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