Single-use plastic items such as straws, forks and knives as well as cotton buds will be banned in the European Union by 2021 following a vote by EU lawmakers last Wednesday as the bloc pushes manufacturers to step up their recycling efforts.
The first study to investigate micro-plastics around Ascension Island and the Falkland Islands – two of the most remote locations in the South Atlantic Ocean – has found levels of contamination comparable with the waters around the UK.
An international law enforcement operation against maritime pollution has revealed hundreds of violations and exposed serious cases of contamination worldwide. Codenamed 30 Days at Sea, the month-long (1 to 31 October) operation saw some 276 law enforcement and environmental agencies across 58 countries detect over 500 offences, including illegal discharges of oil and garbage from vessels, ship-breaking, breaches of ship emissions regulations, and pollution on rivers and land-based runoff to the sea.
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 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.