The goal of this page is to provide you with various resources that will help you find more information about the issue of Plastic Pollution. We hope you like our links and that you will let us know what else we can do to help. If you are interested in learning more about our Plastic and Recycling Awareness Curriculum for elementary schools, please visit the tab marked Educational Program.
Miscellaneous articles about the dangers of using plastics and ways to reduce plastic waste:
- A report from the United Nations warns that the tiny pieces of plastic from plastic bags, bottles and clothes are one of the most dangerous environmental problems facing the world today. They present a serious threat to human health and marine ecosystems.
- Biodegradable plastic ‘false solution’ for ocean waste problem – a report by The Guardian
- What is PLA and is it really better than plastics made from petroleum? PLA is something that is not a viable solution to the plastic pollution problem and it also misleads consumers to thinking that plastic #7’s are recyclable. While the production of most of Bioplastics results in reduced carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional petroleum based
plastics, there are some concerns that the production of a bioeconomy could contribute to an accelerated rate of deforestation if
not managed effectively.
- Is the ‘reign of recycling’ really over? This is a well written article that helps explain why we cannot walk away from recycling by Tom Szaky, Guest Writer for TreeHugger
- Plastic GYRE Symposium: Artists, Scientists and Activists Respond as reported in Elemental Impact on-line magazine
- Leaching of plastic additives to marine organisms – by Marine Environmental Research
- In Press, Corrected Proof — Interaction between loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and marine litter in Sardinia- by Marine Environmental Research
- In Press, Corrected Proof — Young green turtles, Chelonia mydas, exposed to plastic in a frontal area of the SW Atlantic by Elsevier
- Plastic litter in the sea – by Marine Environmental Research
- These fish are eating the plastic you throw into the ocean… by The Grist
- Marine Plastic Pollution in Waters around Australia: Characteristics, Concentrations, and Pathways – by http://www.plosone.org/
- How Plastic Pollution Can Carry Flame Retardants Into Your Sushi – Smithsonia.com
- Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress – by Scientific Reports
- Effects of natural and anthropogenic processes in the distribution of marine litter in the deep Mediterranean Sea – Progress in Oceanography
- Prevalence and composition of marine debris in Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) nests at Ashmore Reef (1) – Marine Pollution Bulletin
- Microplastic pollution in deep-sea sediments – Marine Pollution Bulletin
- Presence of plastic debris in loggerhead turtle stranded along the Tuscany coasts of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals (Italy)- Marine Pollution Bulletin
- Incidence of plastic fragments among burrow-nesting seabird colonies on offshore islands in northern New Zealand – Marine Pollution Bulletin
- Entanglement of Antarctic fur seals at Bird Island, South Georgia – Marine Pollution Bulletin
- Why You Should Avoid Plastics and a Primer on BPA by Real Food Whole Health
- Life in the “Plastisphere” Microbial Communities on Plastic Marine Debris by Environmental Science & Technology
- Fetal exposure to PVC plastic chemical linked to obesity in offspring as reported by Medical Xpress
- Do you Precycle? Precycle Your Personal Care and Beauty Products by our friends at Earth 911
- Atlanta Airport Makes a Bold Sustainable Statement
- Recycling Integrity by Holly Elmore
- Zero Waste In Action – by Holly Elmore – founder and CEO of Elemental Impact
- Polystyrene & Health Homepage – Because polystyrene products are so common, many people assume they are safe, and that a government agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), would not allow a health- threatening product to be marketed to the public.
- Saving Money & the Environment: A Kid’s Guide to Recycling — This site was recommended by a fifth grader that came across it while completing a class project. It contains a great compilation of links aimed at teaching kids about recycling and waste reduction.
- Lighting Recycling Guide - Recycling is a huge part of our responsibility as global citizens. We have been taught to recycle paper, plastic, and glass; however, many of us forget to recycle our light bulbs. Many consumers have opted to use more energy-efficient, compact fluorescent light bulbs in their homes and businesses, which is great for the environment! But the buck doesn’t stop there. After using energy-efficient lighting, it is important that is properly disposed of.
- Living Green: A Guide to Recycling Electronics - While most of us are well aware of the importance of recycling paper, plastic, and glass, our evolving technology has created a new category of trash: e-waste. Quite simply, it is comprised of old or unwanted technology and electronic items. This can range from computers to scanners, faxes, refrigerators, video game consoles, cables, and so on. The surprising truth is that many people simply aren’t quite sure what to do with these old products. It doesn’t seem right or it might not be convenient to throw these types of items in the trashcan. Instead, e-waste piles up in garages, attics, and closets. Even worse, some people discard them in general landfills.
Information about harms caused by plastic bags:
- Catalyst ABC TV – Plastic Oceans… a documentary about plastic harms on marine life
- Plastic Cow… a documentary about what is happening to cows in India
- Biodegradable plastic: What you need to know by the Mother Nature Network
- Rare sea turtles eating plastic at record rate by the Mother Nature Network
- The Silent Killer by Mrs. Green’s World
- Young green turtles, Chelonia mydas, exposed to plastic in a frontal area of the SW Atlantic
- Life in the “Plastisphere” Microbial Communities on Plastic Marine Debris by Environmental Science & Technology
- Waiter, Why Does My Fish Taste Like Plastic? – by Kristina Chew
- Jeremy Irons: public need to take responsibility for plastic waste problem – Guardian Environment Network
- Phthalates – Fact-sheet by the CDC
- Contaminated Diet Contributes to Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Phthalates and BPA – by Science Daily
- Plastic-Free Doesn’t Mean BPA-Free – by Kristina Chew
- As main meal for sperm whales: Plastics debris — by Science Direct
- 6 Tragic Tales of Animals Who Died After Swallowing Plastic — by by Kristina Chew
- Whale Death Caused By Eating Plastic — by The Inquisitr – A whale death in Spain has finally been explained. Almost a year after the sperm whale washed ashore, marine biologists at the Donana Biological Station have confirmed that the emaciated animal died of starvation, the result of eating so much plastic garbage that its stomach became clogged.
- Heal the Bay (Santa Monica, CA) — Heal the Bay has sponsored several California Bills relating to plastic bags, including A.B. 1998.
- Message in the Waves — BBC documentary about how plastics are affecting the people and wildlife of the Hawaiian Islands. Horrific scenes showing Albatross’ ingestion of plastic. This film inspired many towns in the UK to go plastic bag free.
- California Coastal Commission — Public Education Program – the problem with marine debris.
- Plastic Pollution Coalition — The goal of Plastic Pollution Coalition is to bring the issue of plastic pollution to the forefront of the global social, scientific, economic, and political discourse. (Notable celebrity supporters & involved in Malibu’s plastic bag ban.)
- Pick Up America — An interesting blog about picking up disgarded plastic (and reducing plastic use). In support of Maryland’s proposed plastic bag ban, they walked across that state picking up an incessant amount of plastic bags along the way.
Polystyrene (What is Polystyrene?)
Chick-fil-A insists on serving use Styrofoam by Lisa Kaas Boyle
The following information comes from our friends at Surfrider: Polystyrene comes in various forms, check out the Polystyrene Page on Beachapedia for details on the differences between polystyrene, expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam foodware or packaging, and Styrofoam. Most polystyrene ordinances only cover EPS foam foodware but some cover other EPS items and/or all polystyrene (#6) foodware items.
Article ASAP — Polystyrene Plastic A Source and Sink for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Marine Environment by Environmental Science & Technology
Here is the letter the folks at 5 Gyres sent to the city of New York regarding their consideration of setting up a recycling program for Styrofoam: Why DART Corp’s Bribe To New York’s City Council Won’t Stop Polystyrene In The Environment
Check out the Rise Above Plastics program page to find more info on plastic pollution and how to get involved in plastic litter reductions.
Information about the Pacific Garbage Patch:
- In Press, Corrected Proof — The plastic-associated microorganisms of the North Pacific Gyre by Marine Pollution Bulletin
- 5 Gyres — A great website about ocean gyres – check out the Global Research page of for a collection of scientific studies and articles.
- PBS Newshour article – Plastic Pollution in the Ocean — Contains a good “question & answer” section about plastic pollution in the ocean & the Pacific Garbage Patch.
- Algalita Marine Research Foundation (Long Beach, CA) — The experts regarding marine plastic debris and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – examining the scope of plastic contamination and the implications this pollution has on the food chain.
Websites and blogs tracking plastic bag laws:
- California lawmakers consider statewide plastic bag ban by ABC News
- A Brief History of the 5-cent Bag Tax
- EPA Phthalates Action Plan Summary
- ChicoBag Action Center – Track the Movement — ChicoBag provides an interactive map to track plastic bag legislation.
- Bag Monster Blog — Humorous blog that will keep you up to date on the reusable bag movement and related environmental news.
- Seattle Bag Tax website — Impressive compilation of articles, laws, and studies. Claims to have no connections to the plastic bag industry but opposed the Seattle bag tax and encourages plastic bag recycling as the answer — just like the industry.
- Retail Bag Report Maps and Related Detailed Lists — This is a GREAT resource! As part of the Retail Bags Report prepared for the Florida Legislature last month, Florida’s Dept. of Envt’l Protection also developed this extensive website listing all plastic bags laws nationally and internationally.
- Californians Against Waste — Great website to learn about all pending laws in California that affect waste/recycing/the environment. Current focus is on effort to phase out plastic grocery bags.
- Plastic Bag Ban Report — Another helpful website that tracks plastic bag bans.
Films & documentaries about plastic bags, plastic water bottles, microbeads and overall plastic pollution:
Check out this great video about plastic pollution and its effects on our environment: “This is what happens when plastic is thrown into the ocean” by the folks at Tech Insider
One Plastic Beach. This short documentary profiles artists Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang, who have been collecting plastic debris off of a beach in Northern California for over a decade. They turn what they find into art, while raising a deeper concern with the problem of pollution in our seas:
Catalyst ABC TV – Plastic Oceans… a documentary about plastic harms on marine life
- The nurdles’ quest for ocean domination – Kim Preshoff
- Plastic Planet – by NatracareSisters
- Tapped – Trailer for the award winning documentary about bottled water.
- The Ghost Below by by Cynthia Abbott and Jill Lessard for “Seriously Now,”
- Healthy Seas – a journey from waste to wear by HEALTHY SEAS
- Plastic pollution – water we doing? João Pedro Frias at TEDx
- Ohio State University Zero Waste by Zero Waste in ACTION
- Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Trailer by our friends at SurfRider
- Gyre: Creating Art From a Plastic Ocean by the Gyre Expedition
- A Brief History of the 5-cent Bag Tax by Dunk Your Bagel
- Plastic Is Everywhere, Even in Antarctica – by Kristina Chew
- Disturbing Video of a Seagull Eating a Plastic Bag – by TreeHugger
- The Majestic Plastic Bag – A Mockumentary — Sponsored by Heal the Bay and narrated by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons, this “mockumentary” video, hammers home the stark reality of California’s plastic bag pollution situation.
- Plastic State of Mind Parody Video (fakeplasticfish.com) — Awesome parody video that discourages disposable bag use. Check it out!
- PlanetForward.org – The Bag Tax: DC’s BYOB Push (Webisode 123) — A short summary of Washington DC’s law & an interview with Councilmember Tommy Wells.
- Bag It (The Movie) — Tells the worldwide story of plastic use, particularly the reliance on single-use plastic checkout bags.
- Addicted to Plastic (Documentary) — Made by two guys with two cameras over two years, this documentary looks into how exposure to plastic (including plastic bags) affects human health and the environment.
Websites with great tips for using less plastic in your life and living greener:
Plastic alternatives that really work. Do you know what BAGASSE is? Check this link out from Eco Kloud
Meet the Greens Activity Guide is a great site with real tips families can immediately use to be more green.
The Plastic Ocean Project (POP) POP is bringing the best and brightest leaders to the table to take on the challenge of removing plastics from our oceans while creating sustainable businesses in the process.
Iron Pipe vs. PVC Pipe Video – This is from our friends at the Clean Water Action Network
Websites supporting our Plastic Awareness Initiatives:
Plastics SA (South Africa) Clean-Up South Africa