Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission - to rid the world's oceans of floating plastic. He has dedicated his teenage years to finding a way of collecting it. But can the system really work - and is there any point when so much new plastic waste is still flowing into the sea every day?
With an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter estimated to be afloat every single square kilometer of ocean globally, and 6.4 million tonnes of marine litter reaching the oceans every year according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), researchers and scientists predict a bleak future for the great bodies of water that are vital to our planet’s existence.
An unseen stream of plastic rubbish flowing along the bed of the River Thames and out into the North Sea will have far-reaching effects on marine life, a new report indicates.
Scientists from the Natural History Museum and Royal Holloway, University of London, collected rubbish over a three-month period at the end of 2012 from seven locations along the river bed of the upper Thames estuary, between Crossness and Broadness Point.
Dozens of sea turtles, some with signs of concussions, have been washing up on the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, EL Salvador and elsewhere in Central America. Researchers in Costa Rica suspect that the culprit is seasonal red tides, which secrete a potent neurotoxin. But conservationists suspect the turtles may have gotten caught in trammels, large commercial fishing nets.
A chemical widely used in plastic packaging and food containers may be toxic to the central nervous system by interfering with a key gene involved in the development of nerve cells, a study suggests. Scientists have found that bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in a variety of consumer products ranging from fizzy-drink cans to food mixers, affects the function of a gene called Kcc2 which is involved in the growth of neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain and spinal cord.
In response to a petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to take a historic first step toward classifying a tiny Hawaiian coral island, Tern Island, as a Superfund site because of hazards posed by plastic pollution. The Center’s petition requested that the agency conduct a preliminary assessment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and a portion of the enormous Pacific Garbage Patch within U.S. waters.