Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution With Art Although single-use plastics are widely recognized as one of the largest threats to our oceans, plastic pollution is even more nefarious than what washes up on our beaches daily. Those tiny pieces of plastic that you see on your trip to the shore this summer are sadly a symptom of a much larger problem. The bulk of the plastic debris in our oceans accumulates not on the beaches, where it is easily seen, but in giant “garbage patches,” floating like minestrone soup thousands of miles off of our coasts. Suspended particles in the sea create a recipe for disaster harming animals and poisoning the food chain as a deadly “plastic soup.”
Read more in Francesca Koe’s postabout artists who are turning the tragedy of marine plastic pollution into compelling works of art.
Elizabeth Royte, OnEarth contributing editor, blogs about how a 10-year-old boy persuaded a local restaurant to hand out straws only upon request — and how the National Restaurant Association now recognizes “offer-first” as a best practice.
Photo:Toxic pool of water outside Jardim Gramacho, Rio’s largest dump.
At Rio’s Giant Trash Dump, Protecting People and Oceans Alike What we do on land dramatically affects the health of our oceans. There is no better example of that fact than Jardim Gramacho, one of the largest garbage dumps in the world, located in Rio de Janeiro and built on top of a mangrove forest. Around the dump, impoverished Brazilians live, work and play in the discards of consumerism. Toxic chemicals, fetid liquid, and a river of plastic trash all pollute the salt water around the mangroves, which eventually runs out to the sea. Read more.
"BPA is a toxic chemical that has no place in our food supply. We believe FDA made the wrong call." - Dr. Sarah Janssen, senior scientist in NRDC’s public health program, responding to the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to allow bisphenol A (BPA) to remain in food packaging, an action that keeps the hormone-disrupting chemical linked to cancer, obesity and a host of other health problems in the food supply. Read more in this NRDC press release.
How to Avoid BPA:
Don’t use polycarbonate plastics (marked with a #7 PC) for storing food or beverages, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or the food or drink is for an infant or young child.
Avoid canned beverages, foods and soups, especially if pregnant or feeding young children. Choose frozen vegetables and soups and broth that come in glass jars or in aseptic “brick” cartons, as these containers are BPA-free.