Since it began in earnest in the early 20th century, whaling of the South Atlantic Humpback has brought the magnificent species to near extinction, and caused immeasurable damage to the oceans' ecosystems as a result. But conservation efforts in the years since have paid dividends, and experts now say that the marine mammal's population is recovering well.
In some double-edged news for the planet, NASA has recently announced that the hole in the ozone layer has shrunk to its smallest size since it was detected in the mid-1980s. But there's a bit of a catch as to why it shrank in the first place, and yes it has to do with climate change.
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Two weeks ago, I was enjoying a leisurely seaside breakfast in Bali, watching the waves of the Indian Ocean roll in. It was an idyllic scene—palm trees, warm sun, turquoise waters—exactly the kind of place we call paradise.
As I sipped my coffee, my travel companion and I noticed a group of people gathered on the beach. They meandered along the shore, raking through the sand and placing things into a wheelbarrow. I thought perhaps they were treasure hunting, but a waiter told us they were picking up trash that had washed ashore overnight.
After breakfast, we walked along that same beach. Even after the big group cleanup, there was a lot that they'd missed. A few plastic bags here, a disposable diaper there.
By the end of the decade, over half a trillion single-use plastic bottles will be sold annually. In 2016, fewer than half those bottles were picked up for recycling and just seven percent were turned into new bottles.
The Coca-Cola Company, which owns Coke products and some of the biggest brands in the beverage industry, including Minute Maid, Sprite, Dasani, and Smart Water, is responsible for over 100 billion single-use plastic bottles produced annually.
Americans, especially millennials, are becoming increasingly concerned with the dangers caused by single-use plastics. A study published in Market Watch found 73 percent of millennials would pay more for sustainable products compared with 66 percent among all generations.