Environmentalists removed more than 40 tonnes of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, says a CNN news report.
The environmental protection organisation Ocean Voyages Institute has collected the waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They emphasised that this has been “the largest and most successful ocean cleanup to date” in the region.
To make the amount easier to imagine, the report stated that
The expedition lasted 25 days. The group used satellite and drone technology. They primarily collected plastic bottles, furniture and toys from the water. They also found abandoned fishing nets: one of the so-called ghost nets weighed 5 tonnes, the other 8 tonnes.
The plastic ghost nets collect massive quantities of plastic waste. Mary Crowley, the founder of Ocean Voyages Institute emphasised that while removing the monster ghost nets from the ocean is very important, smaller ones can also cause great damage, because whales and dolphins get tangled in them and perish.
1.5 tonnes of the plastic waste collected was given to the University of Hawaii graduate art program and individual artists in Hawaii, who will transform them into sculptures and other works of art. The remaining waste will be processed and used to generate energy.
Crowley noted that relative to the magnitude of the problem, this has only been a small step, but it still saved a lot of fish, dolphins and whales. She added that her group is also planning a longer, three-month cleanup effort, and they hope that other organisations will follow suit.
Henderson Island, a remote Pacific island that belongs to New Zealand, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – yet six tonnes of plastic waste was collected there in two weeks.
Based on a study spanning more than 20 years, researchers of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) believe that the Mediterranean Sea is the most polluted sea in Europe.
Water pollution in the region is becoming increasingly severe. Tunisia is particularly in big trouble.
Fishermen in Greece, who agree to collect the waste caught in their nets and deliver it for recycling, get 200 euro a month.
In a natural environment inundated with artificial objects, the delicate balance of finely tuned interconnections and highly functional systems is upset. This new asynchrony, this disharmony is highlighted in the performance of two young synchronised swimmers intended as a warning of the dangers of plastic pollution.
Wastewater is more damaging to coral than the warming of the seas, a new American study has shown.
According to a new study by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, up to 17,000 litres of oil may be spilt in the water of the Gulf of Mexico due to a leak on an oil platform that has started 15 years ago.
Every single piece of plastic that has ever been made is still with us on the planet, and humanity adds more than 300 million tonnes of freshly produced plastic to the total amount each year.
Scientists have studied the cetaceans washed ashore over the last twenty years. The saddest case was that of a 5.3 metre young sperm whale found on the island of Mykonos: it had swallowed 135 pieces of plastic weighing 3.2 kg in total.
The patches of plastic that look like used chewing gum are not only indications of the amount of waste accumulating in the oceans, they also represent a risk for the organisms that live and feed on the rocks.