Plastic bags: getting more and more expensive | Photo: istolethetv/Creative Commons

In 2015, Portugal will implement a green tax reform that will dramatically raise the costs of plastic bags.

Portuguese consumers will have to change their daily habits, especially when buying in the supermarket chains. The local government is introducing new laws concerning the use of plastic bags.

For each bag, consumers will be forced to pay a special tax of 0.08 euros. All revenue raised will support nature conservation projects.

Read more ...

Martin's Beach: owned by the people of the United States | Photo: Marcin Wichary/Creative Commons

Vinod Khosla is defying the laws of the United States. Despite being forced to open the gate blocking access to Martin's Beach, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems keeps the door locked.

In the early days of December, Judge Barbara Mallach ordered venture capitalist Khosla to open the gates to Martin's Beach, after four years of blocked access.

"That gate across Martins Beach Road must be unlocked and open to the same extent that it was unlocked and open at the time defendants purchased the property [2008]," Barbara Mallach wrote.

Read more ...

Plastic soup: check the global count density in four size classes | Illustration: 5 Gyres

A study by 5 Gyres reveals that there are 270,000 metric tonnes of plastics floating in all of the world's oceans.

Plastics are ruling our seas and oceans. A team of researchers led by Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of 5 Gyres, used an oceanographic model to calculate a total of 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tons floating over salted water.

5 Gyres also compared plastic pollution levels between oceans and across four size classes: 0.33–1.00 mm (small microplastics), 1.01–4.75 mm (large microplastics), 4.76–200 mm (mesoplastic), and >200 mm (macroplastic).

Read more ...