Plastics BAN (Better Alternatives Now) List

Created in collaboration with Algalita, Californians Against Waste, Clean Production Action, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Responsible Purchasing Network, Story of Stuff, Surfrider Foundation and UPSTREAM, the Plastics BAN (Better Alternatives Now) List series of reports identifies the world’s most dangerous plastics in order to better protect our oceans. The most current report, Plastics BAN List 2.0, launched at the Global Wave Summit in Santa Cruz in March. This report also examines the true life cycle of “plant-based” plastic products, finding that most do not actually break down and that the terms “compostable” and “biodegradable” may be the next generation of greenwashing.

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The first Plastics BAN List launched in 2017 to support the successful California plastic bag ban Proposition 67; the Plastics BAN List 3.0 will dovetail with our work in Southeast Asia. In BAN List 3.0, we show that plastic waste leaving land in Southeast Asia and every shoreline globally, if reduced by 20% per year for the next seven years, will reach a tipping point resulting in a decline of floating ocean plastics. Stay tuned in 2019 for this publication.

San Francisco Bay Microplastic Project

Beginning in 2016, 5 Gyres partnered with the San Francisco Estuary Institute to design and execute a research program designed to foster better understanding of the pathways and distribution of microplastics in the Bay and adjacent National Marine Sanctuaries. Collaborating through 2018, the findings will provide essential baseline data needed to evaluate the effectiveness of recently implemented pollution prevention policies, including the federal microbeads and state-wide plastic bag bans, as well as future bans of single-use plastic items such as polystyrene. 

Plastic Ingestion by Camels

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Camels residing in the United Arab Emirates are experiencing harm due to ingesting plastic waste.  In collaboration with the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) in Dubai, we are documenting the occurrence of large masses of plastic bags in their gut, sometimes amounting to 1000's of bags in one camel.

Plastic ingestion by terrestrial mammals may result in gastrointestinal blockages, sepsis from increased populations of gut bacteria, and dehydration and malnutrition due to limited volumes for food and water in the gut or a sense of false satiation. 

Look for this publication in 2019.


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