News Stories

This article from Quartz explores the AGAR Plasticity project, a project from Japanese designers aimed at reducing the use of plastic packaging through the development of packaging made from sea algae.

A Post-mortem on thirteen dead sperm whales reported on by the British news publication The Telegraph describes the contents of the stomachs of a number of whale corpses found on German shores. The autopsies revealed significant amounts of plastics, including fishing nets and pieces of cars, in the stomachs of the whales.

This EcoWatch article  summarizes the findings of a report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum. The report anticipates the weight of plastic debris in the ocean to surpass the weight of fish in the ocean by the year 2050, and outlines a number of possible methods of mitigation.

This TakePart piece describes six methods by which (American) citizens can learn about the purity and cleanliness of their municipal water supply, including how to find lists of potential contaminants. This includes contacting water companies and taking part in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water Watch program.

This article from the New York Daily News describes the methodology and results presented in a study published by the group NY/NJ Baykeeper which details the large amount of plastic debris in the waters surrounding New York City – an estimated 165 million plastic particles.

This piece from the BBC describes the efforts of Denmark’s Boyan Slat, who has devised a method of collecting plastic pieces by using the flow of oceanic currents to draw debris into a collection and removal system.

ABC News Australia recently published this article regarding the “Seabin” project developed by two Australian surfers, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski. The device is a water pump designed to capture debris from water being pumped through a floating net.

This NPR article provides an overview of the issue of marine debris. It gives an estimate as to the amount of plastic debris in the ocean, as well as methods of entry into marine environments and current and potential mitigation and prevention methods.

Another piece published by NPR describes the deleterious effects that plastic marine debris can have on seabirds, such as gulls and albatross, as well as providing methods by which the general public can help reduce the introduction of marine debris into the environment. This includes complications such as ingestion and smothering. The article also provides an audio file and transcript from an NPR report on the issue.

Another NPR story describes efforts by a group of citizen scientists in Maine working on a project designed to estimate the amount of plastic debris in coastal waters. This piece is also accompanied by an audio postcard and transcript thereof.

This article from GrindTV details a recent effort by skateboard company Bureo Skateboards, which previously launched a line of boards made from recycled Chilean fishing nets, to turn plastic marine debris into a new line of sunglasses. The glasses, which are made of 100% traceable and recycled nylon nets, would reach a wider audience than their line of recycled skateboards.

The Seattle Times recently published this piece about the high percentage of plastics in the makeup of debris found on Washington’s Pacific coast – a whopping 92%. The authors also describe the myriad sources for this debris, ranging from local waste disposal to remnants of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

This Seeker article details a new invention from a group of Spanish design students. The product – a simple, cheap, and easy-to-make edible “water blob” called the “Ooho”. The edible blob contains the water in a gelatinous membrane and provides an efficient method of hydration that leaves behind no harmful debris when improperly discarded.