Is it your coffee cup?
This is what remains of a single-use disposable coffee cup after the cardboard degrades when it ends up in the ocean. The plastic lining can easily be mistaken as a jellyfish by a turtle and can cause intestinal blockages and results in a slow painful death through starvation.
Make the connection
A young Cuvier's beaked whale that washed up in the Philippines died from “gastric shock” after ingesting 40kg of plastic bags. 40 kilos of plastic bags, including 16 rice sacks. 4 banana plantation style bags and multiple shopping bags were found in the whale’s stomach after conducting an autopsy. Please make the connection between your consumption and this. Reducing the amount of plastic we use is the only way to win this plastic battle.
Please don't throw away your old mascara wands! These little wands are able to be upcycled for our wildlife to remove oil, larvae, fly eggs, mites, dirt and other unwanted contaminants from feathers/fur.Please wash them with warm soapy water and send to:
Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers
PO Box 898 Murwillumbah, NSW 2484
Seals in the UK
Britain's plastic waste crisis is having a huge toll on seals. The number of seals with 'horrifying' injuries caused by plastic waste each year is at its worst in a decade. Pictures show seals with plastic rings around their necks, some of which cut inches deep into their blubber. The plastic waste hinders the animals' ability to hunt and move and can be life threatening.
Australian Skin Clinics and balloons
Balloons are in the top three most harmful waste items to wildlife. Birds and turtles not only ingest balloons, they actively select them as food. This is because a burst balloon often resembles a jellyfish, the natural food sources of many marine species like turtles.
Ingesting balloons, and the clips and strings attached to them, can cause intestinal blockages and results in a slow painful death through starvation. Marine animals don’t have the gastrointestinal pH levels to breakdown a balloon and for turtles, it may also cause floating syndrome. Trapped gases in the gut can cause a turtle to become buoyant, unable to dive for food—making them vulnerable to boat strikes and leading to starvation and severe dehydration.
Wildlife, both terrestrial and marine, can also become entangled in balloon ribbons or strings, causing injury or death through drowning, suffocation, or an inability to feed and avoid predators.
The Norwegian model uses a loan scheme whereby the bottle you ‘purchase’ does not belong to you. Instead, it can be exchanged at the several thousands of reverse vending machines, or over the counter at stores and gas stations in return for cash or store credit.
If that isn’t enough, the Norwegian government implemented an environmental tax on plastic producers which can be reduced the more they recycle. If collectively, over the nation, recycling is above 95% then everyone is exempt from paying the tax. Over the last seven years plastic producers have continued to reach this target. To ensure consumers also meet the target, they attach a deposit onto the bottle of around 15 to 30 cents which will be redeemed when it is returned. A bottle can be recycled 12 times. Clear bottles are used to re-make bottles and the coloured ones can make new plastic materials. The model has been welcomed by small shop owners as they receive a small fee for each bottle and some say it even increases business.
A good one!
THE FACTS: Nearly 80 percent of plastic water bottles simply become litter in a landfill, creating 2 million tons of plastic bottle waste every year. The energy we waste bottling water would be enough to power 190,000 homes. Food & Water Watch reported that more than half of bottled water comes from the tap. Bottled water is no safer than tap water. In fact, 22 percent of bottled brands tested contained chemicals at levels above state health limits in at least one sample. It takes three times more water to produce a plastic water bottle than it does to fill one. The amount of oil used to make a year's worth of bottles could fill one million cars for a year. Only one in five plastic bottles are recycled. The bottled water industry made $13 billion in 2014, but it would only cost $10 billion to provide clean water to everyone in the world.
Harris Farm and balloons
What goes up must come down, and sometimes this has deadly consequences for seabirds. A bird can die after just ingesting a single piece of plastic marine debris. Of the different types of debris found, balloons were disproportionately deadly to seabirds compared to hard plastic. In 1 out of every 5 birds found to have eaten a balloon, that balloon was its cause of death. Marine turtles, fish, seabirds, whales and even farm animals get entangled in balloon strings or swallow the balloon which then blocks the guts so that the animal will starve. Balloon fragments can take four months to pass through a turtle's intestines, preventing them from diving so it will starve to death. This picture was taken on the 12th of February 2019 at Harris Farm in Pittwater Place, Mona Vale - a beach suburb in northern Sydney and some balloons were seen flying around the car park too.
A street corner in Manly
This is a street corner in Whistler street in Manly. Cigarette butts containing plastic filters are the most littered item in the world. Many smokers assume the filters are made of a biodegradable material. In fact, filters are made of cellulose acetate -- a type of plastic that can take up to a decade to decompose. About 6 trillion cigarettes are manufactured a year and over 90% of them contain plastic filters. That's more than one million tonnes of plastic. Tossing a cigarette butt on the ground is one of the most accepted forms of littering, according to the World Health Organization. About two-thirds of butts are dumped irresponsibly -- stubbed out on pavements or dropped into gutters, from where they are carried via storm drains to streams, rivers and oceans. A recent study placed fish in water in which cigarette butts had been soaked and removed. After four days, half the fish had died, showing that cigarette butts "seep in into the aquatic environment and are toxic and deadly to living creatures.
Do you recognise this?
How many of you recognise this? I was in a meeting last week with two other people. This is what they had on the table. Both of them went to get a second cup of takeaway coffee. One of them said: "I really care about the environment. It makes me so angry when people don't understand. I always tell people not to litter and to recycle." None of the people in the meeting could see the connection between their own single use plastic habits and plastic pollution
Just two brands were found to be responsible for a quarter of the branded plastic polluting the Philippines.
Balloons at Manly wharf
Balloons and balloon fragments are the deadliest kinds of marine pollution for seabirds, killing almost one in five birds that ingest the soft plastic, according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. If a bird ingests a balloon or balloon fragment, it is 32 times more likely to die than if it ingests a hard plastic fragment. This photo was taken today by Manly wharf, close to the endangered penguin population. Neutrogena was spoken to in regards to this and their reply was that their balloons are biodegradable. Natural latex may be biodegradable, but after adding chemicals, plasticizers and artificial dyes, how natural could it be? It may degrade after several years, but it’s surely not “biodegradable.” Balloons have been found in the stomachs of birds, turtles and marine mammals, potentially causing illness or death.
Many animals mistake burst so-called “biodegradable” latex balloons as food, causing intestinal blockage and death. The ribbons or string that is sometimes tied to balloons, whether it is “biodegradable” or not, will last years and can also entangle any animal that comes in contact with it.
Fishing line takes 600 years to decompose. How many animals can one disregarded line kill during this time?
Pic by: David Alphonso
Plastic is used in almost every single daily activity. If you are looking to ditch plastic then pegs are a super easy swap! Choosing stainless steel pegs is not only better for our environment, as they are 100% recyclable but also stronger and cheaper in the long run.
No need for perfection
We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
Of the three pillars of sustainability, the economic impacts of bottled water are perhaps the most evident to the consumer. Tap water is approximately $3 per 1000 litres, comparatively to bottled water, which is approximately $3 per litre. Unfortunately the costs expand on economic concerns, and have detrimental social and environmental effects.
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that bottled water can have detrimental effects on human health. One study found that many brands of bottled water were deficient of essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. Another study found that 20% of the bottled water samples had concentrations of chlorine, fluoride, nitrate and other harmful compounds that exceeded the World Health Organisation guidelines. Additional studies found that the bacteriological quality of tap water was greater than bottled mineral water. There are other health concerns related to bottled water due to harmful chemicals released from the bottle, such as bisphenol A (BPA).
BPA has been linked to breast cancer, among other health conditions. In Australia the bottled water guidelines are of a lower standard than the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. The chemicals used in the production and consumption of bottled water also have follow-on environmental effects.
The environmental effects of bottled water use are extensive. Although most bottles are able to be reused or recycled, most plastic bottles that are currently produced are made from virgin polyethylene terephthalate (PET).The plastic is comprised of non-renewable fossil fuels, which are a finite resource, and the use of this product encourages mining which has associated environmental impacts.
There is a large consumption of energy in capturing the water, conveying the water and also in the treatment of the water at the bottling plant. Additional energy consumption occurs in producing the bottle, and in cleaning, filling, sealing, labelling and refrigerating the bottles. Lastly, energy is required to transport the bottle to retailers, and then to the consumer.The total energy required in the production of bottled water is 5.6-10.2 MJ per litre, comparatively to tap water, which typically requires 0.005 MJ per litre in treatment and distribution.
Energy and fossil fuels aren’t the only resources that are utilised in the production of bottled water. The production of bottled water consumes additional water for the manufacturing process. More than 6 litres are required to produce and cool 1.5 litres of bottled water. Additionally, spring water for bottled water in Australia is sourced from underground aquifers. This can impact on farmers, and may lower the water table, which could have considerable social and environmental ramifications.
An ongoing conundrum with bottled water use is improper and ineffective recycling of water bottles. Plastic bottles were one of the ten most common items picked up on Clean up Australia Day in 2014. Once these bottles are in the environment, they can take up to 450 years to biodegrade. There is a prevalent belief that the environmental impacts of bottled water production and consumption are mitigated through recycling practices.However, when recycling is appropriately undertaken it only saves 1/3 of the energy in the production stage. Additionally, the quality of the plastic degrades each time it is recycled, thus limiting the quantity of times plastic can be recycled. Therefore, reducing your bottled water consumption by using your own durable bottle is the preferred option for you, your back pocket, and the environment.
Don't use a take-away cup, please!
Come on locals, especially former PMs.
Why do you think it's so hard to bring your own cup?
Are you lazy?
Don't you care about the environment?
Are you selfish?
Do you enjoy being part of the plastic pollution problem?
Do you enjoy contributing to the 2,700,000 coffee cups thrown out in Australia EVERY DAY?
Do you want your coffee cup to be around for hundreds of years impacting the local environment?
Do you want your coffee cup to break down to tiny microplastics that are toxic and can be ingested by animals including humans?
Do you want to support trees being cut down to produce a product that only ends up being used for the length of time it takes to drink a latte?
Do you want to contribute to a bigger carbon footprint of coffee cup manufacturing and distribution for these single-use items?
They can't eat...
Ask nine-year-old Tom O'Brien from Freshwater about recycling and rubbish, and he will tell you how turtles die after they mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. "They go to eat a jellyfish, and it turns out to be a plastic bag, and they can't eat and they starve," he said on Sunday.
That's why seeing the detritus and plastic on local beaches made him sad, said Tom, who often picks up the mess left behind. "The worse (it is) .. the more it will kill animals."
Tom's mother Jenny Stokes said her son would be "crushed" if rubbish ended up in landfill especially after the family's extensive recycling efforts ranging from separating the rubbish to having worms and compost.
That's an increasing risk, said Linda Scott, the president of Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and a Labor councillor and deputy mayor of the City of Sydney Council. "In the wake of China's decision to stop accepting recycling, there is a risk of it ending up in landfill unless it can be processed here."
What goes up must go down?
What goes up must come down, and sometimes this has deadly consequences for seabirds. We’ve just published the results of a study linking ingested marine debris with cause of death in seabirds, finding that a bird can die after just ingesting a single piece of plastic marine debris. Of the types of debris we found, balloons were disproportionately deadly to seabirds compared to hard plastic. In 1 out of every 5 birds found to have eaten a balloon, that balloon was its cause of death.
More like this please..
In the deepest oceans
In six of the ocean's deepest crevasses, scientists found tiny shrimp-like creatures chomping on tiny bits of plastic. The new research, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, sampled deep-sea critters called amphipods, small shrimp-like crustaceans, living in the deepest known trenches on Earth. Tiny pieces of plastic smaller than five millimeters, called microplastic, were present in every trench and in 72 percent of the amphipods they collected. Sixty-six percent of the plastic they found was blue fibers. Black, red, and purple fragments were also present, along with blue and pink fragments.
No trench was fiber-free, and more than 80 percent of the amphipods contained them. The deeper the trench, they found, the more fibers were present. When tested, they found the fibers were the same used in textiles, and the study suggests they entered the ocean after leaching from washing machines. This study reports the deepest record of microplastic ingestion, indicating it is highly likely there are no marine ecosystems left that are not impacted by plastic pollution.
A dead shearwater entangled by a balloon. A balloon shatters when they go up and when they fall down into the ocean they look like jellyfish.
Until cigarette filters begin decaying, they release all the pollutants they absorb from the smoke, including substances such as nicotine, arsenic and lead. These, as well as the decaying plastic, are then consumed by various sea creatures and, if that isn't awful enough, they finally end up in our own food again.