Plastics News

© Maxim Larin / Adobe Stock

EU Moves to Curb Ocean Plastic

The European Parliament on Wednesday agreed on new measures to tackle marine litter coming from single-use plastic products most often found on European beaches, as well as abandoned fishing gear and oxo-degradable plastics.The Single-Use Plastics Directive, proposed by the European Commission and adopted by the European Parliament this week, places a ban on selected single-use products made of plastic for which alternatives exist on the market, such as cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, sticks for balloons, as well as cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene

Marine Technology Reporter published a supplement to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oceanology International. Photo: MTR

Oi: Tracking 50 Years of Ocean Innovation

to be used and new platforms developed, such as towed or autonomous vehicles.Vintage Valeport – an example of the early Braystoke Impeller brochure. Valeport is also celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.New materials have also made their impact. “Engineering materials, especially plastics, have made wonderful advances,” says Hardy. “PEEK, fiberglass, delrin, and a host of others became as common in the Scripps machine shop as the marine-grade aluminums.  Synthetic ropes, from nylon and polypro, to Kevlar and Spectra, have made working at sea a bit kinder.”In

“We are moving autonomous technologies into vehicles that have always been "remotely operated" or even manned to realize more efficiency and capability.  We are really blurring the lines between "ROV" and "AUV" and minimizing the technical difference between manned and unmanned. ”
Ben Kinnaman, CEO, Greensea Systems, Inc."

Subsea: The Future of Unmanned Vehicles

limiting its range and maneuverability.Since its founding in 1986 Saab Seaeye has pioneered innovations that have helped to transform the underwater robotics industry, including brushless DC thrusters, efficient high-frequency power distribution, intelligent distributed control systems and the use of plastics and composites in vehicle construction, said Matt Bates, Director, Saab Seaeye Ltd.Saab Seaeye Sabertooth. A hybrid resource that offers autonomous and seabed resident capabilities. Image: Saab SeaeyeBates’ career has been involved with underwater systems. “After graduating with an Honors

(Photo: Flipflopi)

Boat Made of Flip-flops Sails for Cleaner Seas

made of recycled plastic waste and discarded flip-flops gathered from beaches and roadsides, dropped anchor off the beach at Mtwapa, near Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa.The 9-meter-long dhow, "The Flipflopi", was sailing south along East Africa's coast to raise awareness of the threat plastics pose to the oceans, said chief boat-builder and captain Ali Skanda.Beaches and marine ecosystems have been badly affected by plastics, Skanda said, adding it was time to change local people's mindset on how they handle and dispose of waste."That's why we started this voyage - to reach

(Photo: OSIL)

OSIL Unveils Microplastics Sampler

Oceanic microplastic pollution is a growing concern across the globe as new and existing marine litter continues to degrade and fragment through physical and chemical processes.Global environmental monitoring experts Ocean Scientific International Ltd (OSIL) has developed a new Microplastics Sampler for the collection of water samples for the analysis of plastic particles smaller than 5 mm including fragments, films, pellets/nurdles, granules/beads, filaments and foams.The unique device is a large volume water sampler that allows researchers to collect and characterize suspended and sinking particles

(Photo: AMSA)

ROVs to Investigate Lost Shipping Containers

by Yang Ming and the ship’s insurers, Aus Ship, located approximately 37 containers, but further search operations have been delayed by weather and sea conditions.There are as many as 42 containers still missing, AMSA’s analysis indicates.The lost containers contain a large amount of plastics that, if not recovered, will break down over time and spread as microplastics, affecting habitats and species over a wide area, AMSA said. A large amount of debris has already been recovered from New South Wales Central Coast beaches since the containers were lost.In addition, AMSA said it has received

Michael Jones (Photo: TMA)

Interview: TMA's Michael Jones on BlueTech Week

in-formation clusters – probably the largest BlueTech cluster gathering in the world – to discuss Best Practices and collaboration. The Marine Debris Solutions day co-hosted with Scripps Institution of Oceanography on November 6 will focus on innovative industry solutions to four big issues: Plastics in the Ocean; Sunken Vessels and Unexploded Ordinance; Oil Detection and Cleanup; and Fishing & Netting Gear Alternative Solutions. The BlueTech Summit & Tech Expo on November 7-8 will feature four Plenary Sessions with an amazing array of speakers, four tracks with six panels each, and

(Image: Castrol)

Castrol Unveils New Control Fluid for Subsea Systems

best-in-class solution that can work across all components in a system. This means that operators can be confident of the integrity and performance of their systems, and enjoy enhanced system protection as a result.”Castrol Transaqua SP is designed to be compatible with a wide range of elastomers, plastics, metals and completion fluids. This compatibility with completion fluids is especially important during well installation activities, when fluid mixing may occur potentially leading to line blockages.Furthermore, another key challenge faced by operators is the potential for seawater to become trapped

Maersk Launcher (Photo: Maersk Supply Service)

Maersk Signs on to Help Clean up Ocean Plastic

of the ocean environment through enhancing the sustainability of all our activities both at sea and on land. In addition to always taking great care that our operations do not pollute  the oceans with plastic, we are also very pleased to take part in the world’s first major collection of plastics from the ocean. As a responsible maritime operator, we are committed to ensuring that the oceans can remain a healthy environment for generations to come,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk and CEO of the Energy division.The Ocean Cleanup’s long-term ambition

Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman, Nippon Foundation. Copyright: Nippon Foundation

Nippon Foundation Addresses Global Ocean Threats

that endanger the life under the sea. I have visited 125 countries around the world in my life, and when it comes to the problems in the sea, it is not only the problems that come from the developed countries, but there are a lot of developing countries that contribute to that threat, as well.The plastics that you have mentioned, as well as the PVCs – the vinyls – those are flowing into the sea and being eaten by many of the lives that’s living in the seas. Recently there was news talking about shrimp that live 4,000 meters below the sea eating some plastics, with tiny little particles

Volvo Ocean Race)

Video: Prince Charles Addresses Ocean Summit

they were actually closer to the astronauts on the International Space Station than to any human on our planet.“This information collected from the seas is critically important for the scientific community.“Looking at the data collected it is deeply troubling to see how highly pervasive microplastics have become. Samples have even been discovered in what we once would’ve considered to be the pristine environment of Antarctica.”In Partnership with the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, the Ocean Summits offer business, government, organizations and ocean advocates a platform to showcase

THE PAP Observatory buoy on the ocean surface (Photo: NOC)

Scientists to Investigate Human Impacts in the Ocean

(NOC), the seagoing team will use a variety of tools including instruments fixed to a floating buoy, specialized sediment traps to collect sinking particles, and samplers of the water and the seabed three miles beneath the surface. The team will use these sediment traps and samplers to measure microplastics in the water column and in seafloor sediments. Alongside the NOC’s unique long-term record of samples, these will provide information on the now common occurrence of plastics far from the coast.NOC scientist Professor Richard Lampitt said, “Large and small items of plastic have been

A Record-setting Journey to the Atacama Trench

Zodiacs pulled the lander to the ship, Cabo de Hornos, where a sling was attached to hoist the lander back on-board using the crane. The lander was secured in a vertical orientation so both sides of the lander were accesible for sample removal and data download.The buoyancy budget is managed by use of plastics over metal for the frame and side panels. Two 17” borosilicate glass spheres (Nautilus Marine Service, Buxtehude, DE) provide both flotation and housings, and are lighter than syntactic. Through-hull adapter fittings and vacuum/purge ports in the glass were provided by Global Ocean Design

Kongsberg’s Yara Birkeland unmanned container ship concept. (Image: Kongsberg)

Ocean Autonomy: Norway to the Fore

; of this space. With cheaper satellites and commercial underwater drones available to the public, “everyone can be an ocean scientist.” It’s a timely availability of technology, Sørensen says. “Everyone should be aware of the oceans, and how we care for them. Putting plastics in the ocean, we will not get away with that, the public will see it more and more.“We see there is huge potential for unmanned autonomous systems, from space to the seafloor for mapping and monitoring of the oceans,” says Sørensen.How this world will be ruled and regulated in

Electron microscope image of enzyme degrading PET plastic (Credit: Dennis Schroeder / NREL)

Plastic-eating Enzyme Holds Promise in Fighting Pollution

Britain and the United States say they have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could in future help in the fight against pollution. The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET - a form of plastic patented in the 1940s and now used in millions of tonnes of plastic bottles. PET plastics can persist for hundreds of years in the environment and currently pollute large areas of land and sea worldwide. Researchers from Britain's University of Portsmouth and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory made the discovery while examining the structure of a

© Richard Carey / Adobe Stock

Efforts to Curb Plastic Litter in Oceans are Working

countries have introduced deposit return schemes for single use bottles in a bid to increase recycling.   Britain said it plans to follow later this year as plastic is wreaking havoc on the marine environment – killing dolphins, choking turtles and degrading precious habitats.   Plastics which have been in the seas for a while may sink into the sea floor, or be torn up and gradually turned into microplastics. They can take hundreds of years to degrade.   Cleaning up the oceans is a very complex issue but the crucial thing is to stop more plastic waste entering the seas, and

Globalstar Satellite Technology to Combat North Sea Pollution

and Biology of the Marine Environment is studying the movement of floating plastic pollution to get a clear picture of the drift patterns. PhD student Jens Meyerjürgens explains: “We embed low-cost satellite trackers into floating buoys which provide a wealth of information on the movement of plastics on the sea’s surface. This helps us understand how plastic debris moves and how it is affected by the complex interaction of wind, current and tides.”   Buoys are fitted with a tiny (7x5 cm) SPOT Trace device which includes an integrated GPS receiver, simplex transponder and motion

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