What can sea turtles tell us about the plastics in our oceans?

Some of our best insight into the types of plastic litter in the ocean comes from examining what is ingested by sea turtles. Recent research looks at how the composition of plastic waste changes with ocean depth, as informed by the eating patterns of sea turtles.

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Microplastics take flight—how mosquitoes move microscopic pollutants from water to land

Discarded plastics aren’t only disrupting the ocean, they accumulate in freshwaters too. And the impacts may not end there. Aquatic insects eat microplastics and, when they become adults, carry the polluting particles from water onto land and potentially into the stomachs of their predators.

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Disposal Method Matters: The Truth Behind Biodegradable Plastics

Biodegradable plastics are being introduced as a solution to the buildup of plastics in the environment, and they are often touted as being an environmentally-friendly option. However, they come with their own complications. Researchers have investigated how specific biodegradable plastics break down (or don’t) in different environments, showing that how they are disposed of makes a big difference in how environmentally-friendly they are.

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Reducing Plastic Pollution through Economic Incentives

Strolling along the beach, especially during peak tourist season anywhere and you will inevitably stumble upon someone’s cast away plastic bottle. Whether left by a beach-goer or washed onto the sand from upland, plastic litter can cost you the enjoyment of your beach day. Not only that, but collectively this nuisance plastic waste costs lost revenue from decreased tourism as well as harm to public, wildlife, and overall ecosystem health.

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