plastic

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Philippines Horror: 'Most Plastic We Have Ever Seen in a Whale'

88 pounds of plastic found in dead whale that washed up on beach

(Newser) - A dead whale washed up on a Philippine beach was distressing enough, but museum workers have deemed what they found inside the creature's gut "disgusting." The BBC reports that the Cuvier's beaked whale turned up on the shoreline east of Davao City on Saturday, and when... More »

'We're Piling Our Crap' in the Ocean's Depths

Shrimp in the deepest ocean trenches found to be contaminated by plastic

(Newser) - With more than 300 million tons of plastics produced each year, it's perhaps no surprise that some has made its way to the bottom of the world’s oceans. New deep-sea research published in the Royal Society Open Science journal has pulled up fragments of plastics in the deepest... More »

'People Would Be Outraged' by Teen's Find Off Calif. Coast

Alex Weber has pulled out more than 50K golf balls over the last two years

(Newser) - Two years ago, a central California teen began what NPR calls a "Sisyphean task"—hauling hundreds of pounds of golf balls off the ocean floor, only to have them reenter the sea as golfers from five nearby golf courses (including Pebble Beach) hit them right back in. Alex... More »

Swimmer Ends 'Very Disturbing' Journey

Benoit Lecomte has a message for the world

(Newser) - A swimmer's record-breaking effort may be on hold, but his warning endures: There's way too much plastic out there. Benoît "Ben" Lecomte set foot on Oahu, Hawaii on Monday, conclusively ending his dream of being the first swimmer to cross the Pacific Ocean, per CNN . A... More »

In Dead Whale's Belly, a Horrifying Collection of Plastic

Sperm whale found in Indonesia, world's No. 2 plastics polluter

(Newser) - A dead whale that washed ashore in eastern Indonesia had a large lump of plastic waste in its stomach, including drinking cups and flip-flops, reports the AP . The discovery caused concern among environmentalists and government officials in one of the world's largest plastic-polluting countries. Rescuers from Wakatobi National Park... More »

'First Evidence for Microplastics Inside Humans' Emerges

Plastic found in stool samples from people in 8 countries

(Newser) - It was only a matter of time. Scientists, following up research showing tiny particles of plastic in everything from bottled water to salt , say they've found "the first evidence for microplastics inside humans." All stool samples taken from eight participants of a small study by Environment Agency... More »

When You Sprinkle Salt, You're Getting More Than Salt

Microplastics infiltrate 90% of it, especially the stuff from Asia, say researchers

(Newser) - Just like with bottled water , over 90% of the world's table salt contains microplastics—enough that the average human ingests 2,000 pieces each year from salt alone, according to new research. It's been known for years that microplastics are present in salt, per Quartz , but the surprise... More »

Big Change Coming to Kroger, and It's Starting in Seattle

Supermarket chain to get rid of all plastic bags by 2025

(Newser) - The nation's largest grocery chain will be free of plastic bags at all of its nearly 2,800 stores by 2025. Kroger Co., which orders about 6 billion bags each year, will begin phasing out their use immediately at one of its chains based in Seattle, a city that'... More »

Starbucks Dumps Plastic Straws

It's the first big food company to do so in the US

(Newser) - Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from all of its locations within two years, citing the environmental threat to oceans. The company becomes the largest food and beverage company to do so as calls to cut waste globally grow louder, per the AP . Plastic straws have become a flashpoint. A week... More »

Plastic Straws on Their Way Out at McDonald's

UK, Ireland locations will switch to paper straws; other countries like US to do test runs

(Newser) - "A move on straws" is afoot across the pond, and McDonald's is driving the push. The fast-food chain is nixing plastic straws and moving to paper in all of its Ireland and United Kingdom restaurants in what the UK's environment secretary calls a "significant contribution" to... More »

Ban Proposed on Plastics You Use Every Day

The EU proposed a ban that would include plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

(Newser) - The European Union has proposed banning plastic products like cotton buds, straws, stirs and balloon sticks when alternatives are easily available in an attempt to reduce litter spoiling beaches and ocean beds, per the AP . The European Commission said its proposal would seek to cut marine litter in half for... More »

Solution to Plastic Pollution Isn't a 'Sexy' One

'We need to just collect the trash,' says one resource economist

(Newser) - You want big picture? National Geographic provides it on the issue of plastic choking the world's waterways. Invented in the late 19th century, plastic didn't truly take off in terms of production until around 1950, when scientists began making it out of petroleum in earnest. Now, we have... More »

Plastic Bag Found in Truly Depressing Spot

Not even the bottom of the Mariana Trench is safe from our trash

(Newser) - "Single-use plastic reached the world's deepest ocean trench at 10,898 m," states the study plainly, referring to that great scourge: the plastic bag. National Geographic reports that a review of the Deep-Sea Debris Database, an assemblage of photos and videos taken during roughly 5,000 dives... More »

Mutant Enzyme Munches Plastic

This could massively reduce waste, scientists say

(Newser) - Some rare good news in the fight against plastic pollution: Scientists working with a plastic-eating microbe discovered in Japan two years ago accidentally created a mutant enzyme that sounds like an environmentalist's dream, the Guardian reports. The enzyme breaks down the PET—polyethylene terephthalate—used in plastic bottles even... More »

Study Shows Depressing Scope of Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Mass of floating garbage is 'increasing exponentially'

(Newser) - Already the largest floating trash island in the world, researchers have found the mass of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is "increasing exponentially," the Washington Post reports. “I’ve been doing this research for a while, but it was depressing to see,” the Guardian quotes... More »

Microplastics Found in More Than 90% of Bottled Water

WHO says it is investigating risks

(Newser) - Bottled water isn't just surrounded by plastic, it's permeated with it, according to a new study. Researchers at the State University of New York tested 259 bottles of water bought in nine countries, including the US, and found that 93% of them were contaminated with tiny plastic particles,... More »

Calif. Bill Would Punish Straw-Happy Servers

But harsh penalties for 'Straws Upon Request' bill will be amended, lawmaker insists

(Newser) - Restaurant servers who give customers plastic drinking straws they haven't asked for will have to suck up a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine or six months in prison under a controversial bill in California. The bill was introduced in the State Assembly by Majority Leader Ian Calderon... More »

China Is No Longer Accepting the World's Recycling

Move is causing buildup of paper, plastic overseas

(Newser) - China has declared that it's no longer accepting "foreign garbage"—which has left a lot of countries, including the US, wondering what to do with it. As part of a drive to reduce pollution, the country stopped accepting 24 kinds of waste on Jan. 1, including mixed... More »

Now With Your Tap Water, a Side of Plastic

Researchers warn that we're ingesting microparticles

(Newser) - Perhaps we'd best hope we are what we eat, because if we are what we drink then we are getting pretty plastic. Researchers who tested samples of tap water from around the world say there are microplastics in much of it, with the highest contamination rate in the US,... More »

Scientists Offer First Analysis of How Much Plastic We've Made

Researchers estimate 9B tons have been produced

(Newser) - A new study puts a number on the amount of plastic the planet has manufactured in the roughly 65 years we've been cranking it out: 9 billion tons. If you're struggling to visualize that weight, the BBC helps out: That's as heavy as 25,000 Empire State... More »

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