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The Plastic Pollution Cycle and other links

Insights into who is polluting our oceans — and who is dealing with the consequences. And other outdoors links.

4 min read
The Plastic Pollution Cycle and other links
Photo by Naja Bertolt Jensen / Unsplash

The Polluting Dirty Dozen

Outdoor Swimmer magazine reports on work done by Surfers Against Sewage to determine which companies' products are causing the most plastic pollution in the sea:

The charity’s annual Citizen Science Brand Audit released this week exposes what they dub the ‘Dirty Dozen’ — the 12 most polluting companies: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, AB InBev, McDonald’s, Mondelēz International, Heineken, Tesco, Carlsberg Group, Suntory, Haribo, Mars and Aldi.
Surfers Against Sewage report reveals most littered branded products found on UK beaches

Raptor Rapture

This is a podcast, but you can read the transcript if you prefer. But it explores how osprey chicks are a very good indicator of the health of a river. Because they only eat fish caught by their parents in the local area, any pollutants in the ecosystem eventually accumulate in the fish — and hence the chicks.

Not great news for the birds — but it is allowing sources of pollution to be tracked down and dealt with.

What Osprey Chicks Reveal About Pollution | BirdNote
Baby ospreys help solve a toxic mystery.

However, intentional raptor persecution is a very real and very significant problem, particularly in Scotland. Getting the police to take it seriously appears to be a major challenge, still.

Five eagles found dead in Western Isles
Three were discovered in Harris and two in Lewis but police do not believe the deaths are connected.

The raptor persecution blog does a great job of tracking what's happening.

And, just in case you need reminding of how glorious these birds can be, here's some stunning photography to cheer you a little:

Raptors In Flight: Striking Portraits by Mark Harvey Frame Birds of Prey on the Hunt
Following his portraits of acrobatic birds performing a series of stunts, photographer Mark Harvey turns his focus to the larger, more powerful creatures of the avian species. The new collection, titled Raptors In Flight, centers on birds of prey and their graceful movements while on the hunt. Wheth

Animal Magic

This is such good news: the reintroduction of this species is both recreating some important habitats AND helping ease flooding problems.

Beavers to gain legal protection as native species
Beavers will return to rivers across England under government plans to be announced this week to grant licences allowing them to be released into the wild.They

And this is illuminating. How much more do we still have to learn from the creatures all around us?

Foxes use magnetic field to find prey | Earth | EarthSky
Foxes are the first animals thought to use Earth’s magnetic field to judge distance, not just direction to find their prey.

(I had a shoe stolen by a fox while I was camping over the summer. A story for another time…)

One to listen to…

I found this podcast from the BBC's Open Country strand fascinating. The enthusiasm the interviewees showed for their sport of magnet fishing was infectious — but the stories of what they're catching was a sobering insight into how we throw things away.

Magnet Fishing — Open Country — Overcast

Ones to watch

This is a fascinating watch. It breaks down how some of our apparently “wild” landscapes are actually anything but, and the potential consequences of that. I don't think I've ever seen the fundamental idea behind rewilding expressed as well as this.

And, just to bring us full circle, this is a lovely short documentary about how one man is fighting back against pollution in the ocean he loves.

Nature Reads

Adam Twitter

A middle-aged Dad, coping with a mid-life crisis, but enjoying life with his two wonderful daughters.


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