plastics

Aboard a vessel run by the environmental group Riverkeeper, oceanographer Joaquim Goes of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (left) and PhD. student Ye Li filter water from New York harbor. They were on a mission to study the prevalence of plastic microbeads.  (Photos: Kevin Krajick, unless otherwise credited.)

New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

Plastic microbeads, common in soap, toothpaste and other consumer products, are flooding waters. A team from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is doing the first large-scale assessment of their impact on New York’s waterways.

by |August 16, 2017
Photo credit: Ars Electronica

What Happens to All That Plastic?

Today Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.7 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities. What happens to all the rest of it?

by |January 31, 2012
CAPTION: Sonia Machuca, WAVES for Development's environmental education teacher. -Benjamin Preston, 2011

Changing Litterbugs One Wave at a Time

As the mid-Pacific trash island grows, forces are at work to change people’s minds about how they may be adding to it.

by |March 10, 2011
Photo credit: cesarharada.com

Our Oceans: A Plastic Soup

“Humanity’s plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint,” said Captain Charles Moore, who, in 1997, discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. ┬áIts name is misleading because the huge expanse of floating marine debris is actually more like a soup of confetti-sized plastic bits, produced by the runoff of our throwaway lifestyle that… read more

by |January 26, 2011