The amount of plastic washing up onto the shores of remote South Atlantic islands is ten times greater than it was a decade ago, according to new research published in the journal Current Biology. Scientists investigating plastics in seas surrounding the remote British Overseas Territories, including East Falkland, discovered they are invading these unique biologically-rich regions. This includes areas that are established or proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
The United Kingdom government has announced a package of funding and support for UK Overseas Territories. The new projects will see a scheme to reduce and monitor plastic pollution on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic and a new data collecting and reporting system for Montserrat to help create long-term sustainable fisheries.
New footage of the devastating impact of plastic pollution on wildlife has been captured by a BBC team. Seabirds are starving to death on the remote Lord Howe Island, a crew filming for the BBC One documentary Drowning in Plastic has revealed. Their stomachs were so full of plastic there was no room for food.
Dozens of companies have signed up to efforts to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025, it has been announced. Under the “UK Plastics Pact”, the businesses have also agreed targets to make 100% of their plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable and to ensure 70% is effectively recycled or composted.
The UK Government has earmarked a £61.4 million war chest to fight the rising tide of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Theresa May announced the fund ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London this week.
Test on major brands of bottled water have found that nearly all of them contained tiny particles of plastic. In the largest investigation of its kind, 250 bottles bought in nine different countries were examined. Research led by journalism organization Orb Media discovered an average of 10 plastic particles per liter, each larger than the width of a human hair.
The pollution of oceans with plastic litter, discarded nylon fishing nets and eco-toxic micro-beads is well known as one of the great scourges of the modern age ― not just entangling and choking endangered, charismatic species like sea turtles, dolphins and even great whales, but attracting long-lived organic pollutants that end up permeating the entire marine food chain, right up to the fish on our plates.