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Photo of the Week

Featuring images from the Marine Photobank, these Photo of the Week stories highlight ocean issues as well as the ability of visual media to promote ocean conservation. Would you like see one of your images as a Photo of the Week? Please become a contributing member of the Marine Photobank and let your photos work on behalf of the ocean.

Keeping Plastic Under Wraps

Plastic on beach in Syria
© MEDASSET/Marine Photobank

Plastic debris, an ubiquitous pollutant of the ocean and along coastal regions, has many detrimental impacts, from the economic costs related to beach cleanups to the suffering and death of entangled wildlife. While considerable effort has been made to remove waste plastic and other persistent debris from marine environments, a recent study reports that the most efficient and cost-effective solution is to prevent their release into the environment in the first place. Plastic packaging and plastic bags, encompassing much of the litter on the beach in Syria pictured here, can be significantly reduced through individual measures. Some simple ways of reducing plastic consumption during the holiday season include bringing reusable shopping bags to stores and using recycled and reused materials for gift-wrap.

Read more:
Ryan, P.G. et al. 2009. Monitoring the abundance of plastic debris in the marine environment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 364, no. 1526 1999-2012