Ocean Pollution

Climate & Environment
Japan implements mandatory fee for plastic bags
Japan implements mandatory fee for plastic bags
Credit: unsplash.com / Brian Yurasits

The Japanese government has implemented a mandatory rule for all retail outlets to charge costumers for plastic bags. The previously free plastic bags will now only be handed out for a fee.

The goal is to reduce plastic waste as the bags often end up in oceans and decompose there into microplastics which enter the food chain.

Climate & Environment
Ocean Voyages Institute removes 103 tons of fishing nets and consumer plastic from Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Plastic fished out of the ocean on a ship
Plastic fished out of the ocean on a ship Credit: Ocean Voyages Institute

The Ocean Voyages Institute has more than doubled their previous record during the 48-day expedition and removed 103 tons of finish nets and consumer plastic from the ocean before returning to Honolulu, Hawaii. The executive director and founder of the group, Mark Crowley has stated that he is "so proud of our hard working crew" and that they exceeded their "goal of capturing more than 100 tons of toxic consumer plastics and derelict ‘ghost’ nets—and in these challenging times, we are continuing to help restore the health of our ocean, which influences our own health and the health of the planet".

Lifestyle • Travel
Carnival Corp. fined $20 million after dumping trash into ocean from cruise ship
Cruise Ship "Carnival Horzion"
Cruise Ship "Carnival Horzion" Credit: Elliott Bryson III / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The cruise company Carnival has been fined with a fine of $20 million after repeatedly dumping waste into the ocean. Carnival admitted that it violated the terms of a probation conviction from 2017 for improper waste disposal. The subsidiary company Princess Cruises has released food waste and plastic into the ocean in addition to not accurately documenting waste disposals and measures to fix issues on the ships before third-party inspections in order to prevent negative reports and without disclosing the fixes to such inspectors.