Plastic trash on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.
A new study shows that anchovies – key food for larger fish – are attracted to plastic trash because it smells like food. This suggests that toxic substances in plastic could move up through food chains.
What will we do for bin liners now?
AAP Image/James Ross
Banning single-use plastic bags makes sense, as long as it doesn't usher in behaviours that are just as bad, or worse – like over-using heavier bags made of even more plastic.
The same beach on Henderson Island, in 1992 and 2015.
After making worldwide headlines with the story of the Pacific "garbage island", researchers were sent a photo of the same beach, white sand free of litter, as recently as 1992.
The researchers found nearly 38 million pieces of plastic rubbish on Henderson Island, in one of the remotest parts of the ocean.
Plastics pose a major threat to seabirds and other animals, and most don't ever break down - they just break up. Every piece of petrochemical-derived plastic ever made still exists on the planet.
Disruption of the thyroid hormones can prevent tadpoles from becoming frogs.
Research shows thyroid hormone, which is required for brain development in all vertebrates, is severely affected by chemicals present in our everyday cleaning products, clothing and cookware.
Pollution and debris off the Sri Lankan coast.
A new documentary highlights the plight of marine animals living among the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic rubbish generated by humans.
Around 94% of litter on South African beaches is made of plastic, of which 77% is packaging.
Waste plastic affects marine life significantly but better education and recyclable plastics could go a long way in resolving this issue.
olenalavrova / shutterstock
Microplastics go largely unseen but are a scourge of the oceans. Filmmaker Jo Ruxton answers questions about the challenge of filming it.
Drink containers are the biggest contributors to rubbish in Australia.
Litter image from www.shutterstock.com
Refunds for drink bottles and cans get litter out of the environment – but industry remains opposed.
Scientists have discovered the first easy-to-grow bacteria that can break down plastics.
Even a microbe won’t eat plastic.
Consumers and makers of plastic products want plastic to biodegrade to minimize the environmental impact, but some additives don't live up to the claims.
In most states, the issue of container deposit legislation has festered for decades.
Four decades after South Australia's container deposit scheme began, New South Wales has finally overcome industry resistance and launched its own. Could the rest of the country now follow suit?
Plastic waste washed up on a beach in Haiti.
You might have heard the oceans are full of plastic, but how full exactly? Around 8 million metric tonnes go into the oceans each year, according to the first rigorous global estimate published in Science…
plastic bottles via shutterstock.com
Purchase a plastic water bottle, and there’s a good chance that it will feature a “BPA-free” label. You might be seeing it more often because the industrial chemical Bisphenol-A has now been removed from…
Cocoa, rice and vegetable waste could soon be turned into environmentally-friendly plastic. American Chemical Society scientists…
American researchers have created a plastic that can repair itself. Until recently, only living organisms could regenerate…
The oceans are filled with garbage. Who’s in charge of the cleanup?
I was in the middle of giving a talk on the marine debris problem at a notable Californian marine research institute, when I drank the last of my water bottle, threw it onto the hall floor from the podium…
Debris or not debris? Floating rubbish could hamper the search for MH370.
AAP Image/AP Pool, Kim Christian
Frustratingly, the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has turned up many floating objects, but none of them are from the plane. That’s largely because the latest search area is likely to…
A Malaysian initiative to reduce plastic bags has not had a significant effect in reducing plastic waste going into landfills…
A waste product from paper-making could be a safer, greener alternative to using the harmful chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in…