Over 260 Chinese fishing ships surround the Galapagos Islands, Plastic flow into ocean projected to triple by 2040, Plastic bag use drops 59% in England, Life-threatening mercury levels found in Hong Kong shark fins and more…
2. Plastic flow into ocean expected to triple by 2040, action could stem tide more than 80%
A new analysis finds that without immediate and sustained action, the annual flow of plastic into the ocean could nearly triple by 2040. The study also identifies solutions that could cut this volume by more than 80% using technologies available today, if key decision-makers make system-wide changes. The research found that if no action is taken to address the projected growth in plastic production and consumption, the amount of plastic entering the ocean each year would grow from 11 million metric tons to 29 million metric tons over the next 20 years, equivalent to nearly 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of plastic on each meter of coastline worldwide.
Shoppers’ use of plastic carrier bags in England has continued to fall – by 59% in the last year alone – since the introduction of the 5p charge, according to recent figures. Overall, sales of single-use plastic carrier bags have dropped by more than 95% in England’s main supermarkets since the charge was introduced in October 2015, government data reveals. In the past 12 months, Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, the Co-operative Group, Tesco and Waitrose sold 226m bags – 322m fewer than in 2018-19.
A new study has found dangerous amounts of mercury in shark fin sold for human consumption in Hong Kong. Led by the Florida International University Institute for Environment, researchers from the US and Hong Kong tested fin samples from nine shark species commonly sold in Asian markets. The mercury levels found in the samples greatly surpassed the legal restrictions and health guidelines issued by the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety. The study tested for both the total amount of mercury and the amount of methyl-mercury – its most toxic form.
Read more in “Hong Kong Free Press”
Single bananas. Hard-boiled eggs. Chocolate chip cookies. In convenience stores across Japan these items all have something in common: they are routinely sold tightly swaddled in plastic wrapping. It’s been that way for decades. Of the 540 billion plastic shopping bags used annually worldwide, consumers in Japan get through about 30 billion of them. To put that in context, Japan has twice the population of the UK, but uses 17 times as many plastic bags. The US knocks them both out of the park, using an estimated 100 billion bags each year.
Read more in “CNN”
12. Shark finning: why the ocean’s most barbaric practice continues to boom
Dog fur is particularly good at cleaning up crude oil, according to a new study investigating sustainable options to clean up oil spill disasters. Together with human hair recycled from salons, recycled dog fur can be used as an effective and sustainable way to mop up dangerous environmental contaminants on land. Oil spill disasters on land cause long-term damage for communities and the natural environment, polluting soils and sediments and contaminating groundwater.