News

Working Group Updates and News from the November 13, 2018 Plastic Free Waters Partnership Meeting

Plastic Bag Work Group

Jordan Christensen reports that the Bag Work Group’s current focus is on supporting education and outreach in areas that are currently in the process of introducing or considering legislation on plastic bags. This includes identifying how to get bills off the ground, including the key environmental and economic talking points. The group has also identified other types of plastic bag outreach and education actions that could be transferable to other areas.   This includes ideas like”take a bag leave a bag”, getting reusable bags for delivery at restaurants included in bag bills, and incentive programs for people who bring their own bag. Efforts like these could help supplement policy with education and engagement.

 

Messaging Group

Lisa Ruggero reports that the Messaging Group is working on a half-page flyer for partnership members to use when they are at public events to spread the word about the Plastic Free Waters Partnership. The flyer’s call-to-action is going to center on how to join the partnership and why. The flyer will include the Plastic Free Waters”hashtag”. The flyer will be finalized in 1 month of the October meeting.

The messaging group is also working to align messaging strategy with specific materials, based on the workgroup activities.  A different material will be the focus of social media and messaging strategy each quarter. This will also take into account current legislation— for example, the messaging group will be focusing on the upcoming Styrofoam ban in NYC to align messages and approaches. The messaging group will also produce  reminders and promotional material, such as curated Instagram posts, tweets, and social media templates that can be used by partners. Concurrently, the messaging group is identifying ways to tout the success of partner members and highlight achievements. 

Microplastics Work Group

Catie Tobin of the Microplastics working group reports that they will be implementing a survey for people working on the issue of microplastics to best identify the short and long term priorities.

Balloon Task Force

Dini Checko reports that the Balloon Task Force is looking for members. Clean Ocean Action, a PFW partner, has found an uptick in the amount of balloon pieces collected. Virginia Clean Waters has also found that there is a large percentage of debris coming from plastic balloons. The first priority for this task force is to put together a communications package that includes facts, resources, and other essential information on the impacts of balloon releases. Balloons could be the next straws, and we need to ensure that people understand the impact of this kind of material

Reusables Task Force

Karen Bray reports that the new Reusables Task Force (formerly the to-go container working group and the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board) will be working specifically on shifting away from single use to-go containers to reusable materials in New York City. There will be five workstreams: 1.) market research 2.) pilot programs in order to show success and feasibility 3.) policy research to identify barriers to policies about this topic 4.) promotions and brand awareness and 5.) partnerships and funding (atthis point premature, still looking at proof of concept).

Straws Work Group

Allison McCarthy reports that the main priority for the Straws group is to develop and distribute a toolkit specifically for  restaurants with resources for taking the first steps to eliminate plastic straws, switch to paper or reusable alternatives (if necessary), and educate customers. The straws work group is also working on how to engage the disability community in conversations about straws, and how to address needs of people living with disabilities. The straws work group is also focusing on ensuring that information and developments, such as engaging new businesses and restaurants,is shared between working groups and PFW member organizations.

Plastic Free Water Partnership Meeting: November 13, 2018

The Plastic Free Waters  Partnership welcomes you to join us for our next full partnership meeting on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

Please RSVP here.

The meeting will take place at the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, 290 Broadway, NY, NY 10007, room 27A. The meeting will feature a panel discussion on DESIGN, INNOVATION and CIRCULAR ECONOMY.The afternoon will be dedicated to workgroup breakout sessions. A full agenda is coming soon.

9:30- 10 – Pre-meeting networking and coffee
10-noon – Panel and updates
12:15-1:45 Workgroup breakout sessions
1:45- 2:15 Workgroup Announcements

 

Please RSVP to the meeting and specify if you are attending in person or remotely (by phone/computer; details for conferencing are below).

Microplastics Updates, October 2018

Journals

Consistent microplastic ingestion by deep-sea invertebrates over the last four decades (1976-2015), a study from the North East Atlantic 

Microplastics in the aquatic environment: evidence for or against adverse impacts and major knowledge gaps

Microplastic hotspots in the Snake and Lower Columbia rivers: a journey from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to the Pacific Ocean 

Microplastics in the Arctic: a case study with sub-surface water and fish samples off Northeast Greenland 

Microplastic ingestion by riverine macro invertebrates

Ingested microplaslic as a two-way transporter for PBDEs in Talitrus saltator

How mosquitoes are spreading microplastics from the water into the air 

Microplastics found in 90% of table salt 

Is my washing to blame for the plastic problem? 

In the news 

As synthetic microfibers spread in water, solutions are blossoming 

Researchers show that South Africa has a microplastic problem 

Microplastics found deep in sand where turtles nest 

Commentary/Marine plastic pollution – a planetary environmental problem 

‘Alarming’ level of microplastics found in a major U.S. River 

Mosquitoes may be contaminating ecosystems with tiny bits of plastic 

In a first, microplastics found in human poop 

Microplastics find their way into your gut, a pilot study finds 

New Jersey is pushing one of the strictest plastic bans in the nation. But is it enough? 

Videos

The Ocean Cleanup System 001 

Funding

Marine Debris research federal funding Job opportunity 

 

 

Microplastics Updates: July, 2018

Journals

Current research trends on plastic pollution and ecological impacts on the soil ecosystem: a review 

Microplastics play a minor role in tetracycline sorption in the presence of dissolved organic matter 

Retention and characteristics of microplastics in natural zooplankton taxa from the East China Sea 

Microplastics in mussels sampled from coastal waters and supermarkets in the United Kingdom

Environmentally relevant microplastic exposure affects sediment-dwelling bivalves 

Marine microplastic debris: an emerging issue for food security, food safety and human health

First evidence of microplastic ingestion by fishes from the Amazon River estuary  

Microplastic risk assessment in surface waters: a case study in the Changjiang Estuary, China 

Retention of microplastics in a major secondary wastewater treatment plant in Vancouver, Canada

Abundance and size of microplastics in a coastal sea: comparison among bottom sediment beach sediment and surface water 

Microplastics pollution in different aquatic environments and biota: a review of recent studies 

Microplastics elutriation system: Part B: insight of the next generation 

Reports/Newsletters

Microplastics Expert Workshop Report 

The Flow of Trash Free Waters 

Microplastics Final Report – Adventure Scientists

Outreach Material 

Plastic Tides Infographic 

In the News 

Link discovered between microplastics in rivers and wastewater treatment plants 

Microplastic pollution found around the coast 

Microplastics project to record amount, location and origin of pollution in the oceans 

Other Plastics News

Starbucks will stop handing out plastic straws by 2020

Hyatt announces global effort to reduce single-use plastics

Looking to cut plastics pollution in the ocean? Start upstream 

Oceans and Human Impacts 

Some pollution isn’t plastic after all 

San Francisco may become latest city to end use of plastic straws 

Santa Barbara moves to ban plastic straws, styrofoam 

Miami Beach wants to expand its ban on plastic straws 

Brick Councilman: ban plastic straws in bars, restaurants 

The push to ban plastic straws 

Material formed from crab shells and trees could replace flexible plastic packaging 

Governor Murphy signs legislation banning smoking at public beaches and parks 

Microplastics Updates: June, 2018

Journals

Microplastic contents from mariculture and natural mussels 

Low levels of microplastics (MP) in wild mussels indicate that MP ingestion by humans is minimal compared to exposure via household fibers fallout during meal 

Accumulation of polystyrene microplastics in juvenile Eriocheir sinensis and oxidative stress effects in the liver 

Microplastic abundances in a mussel bed and ingestion by the ribbed marsh mussel Geukensia demissa 

Virgin microplastis are not causing imminent harm to fish after dietary exposure 

Plastic ingestion by Scyliorhinus canicula trawl captured in the North Sea 

Trophic transfer of microplastics and mixed contaminants in the marine food web and implications for human health 

Advancements and challenges of microplastic pollution in the aquatic environment: a review 

In the news

Microplsatics in our mussels: the sea is feeding human garbage back to us

Greenpeace finds PFAS and microplastics in the Antarctic 

Investigating options for reducing releases in the aquatic environment of microplastics emitted by products 

Plastic and other waste found in British mussels 

Sen. Kennedy leads passage of America’s first state law to stop clothing fiber pollution 

Cooperative work needed between textile and environmental scientists to solve microfiber pollution

Educational Materials

Adventure Scientists Microplastics Toolkit

Microplastics Toolbox 

3 Steps to reduce plastic and benefit your business 

 

Other Plastic News

World Environment Day: Seven countries leading the charge on plastics pollution 

E.U. proposes ban on some plastic items to reduce marine pollution 

Single-use plastics: new EU rules to reduce marine litter 

How I Sea: Straw-Free San Francisco