Deep Dives
Thought-provoking research providing extensive learning opportunities

Paint particles in the marine environment

Andrew Turner, University of Plymouth Plastics & Pollution

Because paint particles consist of a resin (polymer) combined with one or more additives, they bear compositional similarities with microplastics. Despite these shared characteristics, however, paint particles are often undetected, deliberately overlooked or evade classification in the pool of micro-debris.

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Toward the Detection and Imaging of Ocean Microplastics With a Spaceborne Radar

Madeline C. Evans & Christopher S. Ruf, IEEE Xplore Plastics & Pollution

Most direct measurements come from plankton net trawling made in these regions; concentrations in other regions have been estimated by microplastic transport models that depend on large-scale ocean circulation patterns. However, global measurements of microplastic distribution and its temporal variability are lacking.

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Together Is Better: The Rumen Microbial Community as Biological Toolbox for Degradation of Synthetic Polyesters

Quartinello, F. et al., Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology Plastics & Pollution

Microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, are becoming an emerging resource for the development of eco-sustainable plastic degradation and recycling processes.

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Global assessment of innovative solutions to tackle marine litter

Bellou, N. et al., Nature Sustainability Plastics & Pollution

Marine litter is one of the most relevant pollution problems that our oceans are facing today. Marine litter in our oceans is a major threat to a sustainable planet.

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Ocean Plastic: What You Need to Know

Audrey Nakagawa, EcoWatch Plastics & Pollution

Ocean bound plastic is plastic waste that is headed toward our oceans.

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Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature and Climate

Dickson, B. et al., UNEP Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports Tourism

To launch the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, UNEP has released this synthesis report as a call to action for anyone and everyone to join the #GenerationRestoration movement to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide.

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3,000 Shipping Containers Fell Into the Pacific Ocean Last Winter

Tim Lydon, The Revelator Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports

A rise in container-ship accidents adds to the growing marine plastic pollution problem and poses risks to ocean health, wildlife and mariners.

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Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful?

XiaoZhi Lim, Nature Plastics & Pollution

Scientists are rushing to study the tiny plastic specks that are in marine animals — and in us.

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Anthropogenic pollution in deep-marine sedimentary systems -- A geological perspective on the plastic problem

Ian Kane & Andrea Fildani, Geology Plastics & Pollution

A new focus article in the May issue of Geology summarizes research on plastic waste in marine and sedimentary environments.

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More than 1000 rivers account for 80% of global riverine plastic emissions into the ocean

Meijer, L.J.J. et al, Science Advances Plastics & Pollution

Plastic waste increasingly accumulates in the marine environment, but data on the distribution and quantification of riverine sources required for development of effective mitigation are limited.

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The Second World Ocean Assessment (Volume II)

United Nations Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports Tourism

The Second World Ocean Assessment (WOA II) is the major output of the second cycle of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the States of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects. It is the newest outcome of the only integrated assessment of the world’s ocean at the global level covering environmental, economic and social aspects.

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The Second World Ocean Assessment (Volume I)

United Nations Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports Tourism

The Second World Ocean Assessment (WOA II) is the major output of the second cycle of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the States of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects. It is the newest outcome of the only integrated assessment of the world’s ocean at the global level covering environmental, economic and social aspects.

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Pandemic Pollution: The Rising Tide of Plastic PPE

Ocean Conservancy Plastics & Pollution

Volunteers removed 107,219 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) from beaches and waterways worldwide in second half of 2020. 

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Plastic ingestion by marine fish is widespread and increasing

Savoca, M.S. et al., Global Change Biology Plastics & Pollution

Plastic pollution has pervaded almost every facet of the biosphere, yet we lack an understanding of consumption risk by marine species at the global scale.

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A Sea of Plastics Claims and Credits: Steering Stakeholders Towards Impact

The Circulate Initiative Plastics & Pollution

As more companies and governments make commitments to address plastic pollution, several plastic offset claims and credit schemes have emerged.

We reviewed the current landscape of standards, certifications and credit programs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of current programs and whether they are equipped to help buyers meet their impact objectives.

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Plastics 101: Blue Economy Opportunities and Considerations to Reduce Ocean  Plastics

Vanessa Fajans-Turner Plastics & Pollution

Plastics are the most common form of marine debris. They originate with a variety of land and ocean-based sources across industries; enter the water in many ways; and negatively impact the ocean and Great Lakes. Once in the water, plastic debris never fully biodegrades.

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Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad

President Joseph R. Biden Jr., The White House Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports Tourism

The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis. We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents.

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Marine unProtected Areas: A case for a just transition to ban bottom trawl and dredge fishing in offshore Marine Protected Areas

Frith Dunkley & Jean-Luc Solandt, Marine Conservation Society Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution

The study examined fishing effort in all Marine Protected Areas (Special Areas of Conservation, Marine Conservation Zones and nature conservation Marine Protected Areas, hereafter collectively referred to as MPAs) in UK offshore waters (beyond 12 nautical miles) designated to protect the seabed, and the implications for biodiversity recovery and carbon storage.

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China’s plastic import ban increases prospects of environmental impact mitigation of plastic waste trade flow worldwide

Zongguo W. et al., Nature Communications Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports

Since the late 1990s, the trend of plastic waste shipment from developed to developing countries has been increasing. In 2017, China announced an unprecedented ban on its import of most plastic waste, resulting in a sharp decline in global plastic waste trade flow and changes in the treatment structure of countries, whose impacts on global environmental sustainability are enormous but yet unexamined.

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Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: A Vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity

The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports Tourism

We have a collective opportunity and responsibility to protect and restore the health of our ocean, and build a sustainable ocean economy that can provide food, empower coastal communities, power our cities, transport our people and goods and provide innovative solutions to global challenges.

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