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Plastic and the Oceans

Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 09 Mar 2015, 06:21:54

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/opini ... .html?_r=0

We know that plastics biodegrade exceptionally slowly, breaking into tiny fragments in a centuries-long process.

This passage is the one that is so disturbing in the time it takes for plastic to bio-degrade how many sea creatures have inadvertently digested it. Many stories are depressing about our ruining of the Earth but this one is particularly and acutely disturbing at least to me. Why oh why have we been so callous and negligent about protecting Mother Earth? :(
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 09 Mar 2015, 07:51:30

Netflix is running a documentary called "Plastic Paradise" that will rip your heart out, until you Google "plastic pollution" and look at the images. Only then do you start to get an idea of the scope of the problem.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 09 Mar 2015, 13:53:17

Possibly in a post peak future a sailing vessel will be able to sail to these gyres and drag a fine net through them and pull up a cargo of plastic particles that will bring a good price as petro chemical feedstock in an oil depleted world. A lot easier then hunting whales that are wary and can dive and swim away.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 09 Mar 2015, 15:15:14

One thing is for sure the sooner and the more of this plastic we can collect will be good for the oceans and could be good then for whatever uses we may have in mind. 8)
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 09 Mar 2015, 20:32:15

I have been cleaning beaches at least since I was five. I know this as a fact because when I was five my parents had to take me to the hospital because I had a huge palm tree thorn stuck inside my hand from when I fell into it trying to reach a plastic milk bag on the dunes. I received a tetanus shot and had the thorn removed and hand bandaged for a few days.

My wife and I still clean shores on a weekly basis during our packrafting expeditions on Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys. There is so much trash on the uninhabited islands that we mostly burn everything that will burn now, including plastics, rubber, and treated lumber. I know its bad for global warming, but I think it is the best choice we have. I can't stand the trash. We bring back and recycle unbroken glass bottles and aluminum cans.

I won't even get started on the amount of dolphins, manatees, turtles, birds, and other animals I've found killed by plastic particles on their digestive system, sliced to pieces by powerboats, or tangled up in fishing lines or lobster trap lines, sick, scared, and hurt. We've saved some ourselves, called professionals for assistance when necessary and possible, but many times we are too late and the animals are dead or need to be put down. I volunteer at a Marine Bird Rescue Station, and the things I've seen, there and elsewhere, have made me a misanthrope. Everything is dying around us.

Humans are by far the most murderous of all species.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 09 Mar 2015, 20:51:43

For those interested there is a great deep environmental site called "green Interview". They have interviews with a number of prominent deep environmentalist. So far I've watched I terriers with james lovelock, Jane Goodall, Farley Mowat, and Paul Watson.

It's a pay site, but I can't think of a beeper donation. $4 an interview or $10/month.

And, yeah, we are sick pups. I've heard of cruisers fastidiously saving all their trash on a long voyage to properly deposit at their next landfall. Then during their walk around find dump trucks dumping the stff straight into the ocean.

Burning is not good, but what is less bad?

Best not to use it in the first place, as if that is a real option.

Perhaps a good argument for home canning in Ball jars.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sun 10 Dec 2017, 13:45:14

Seven Charts That Explain the Plastic Pollution Problem

Image

Image

Drinks bottles are one the most common types of plastic waste. Some 480bn plastic bottles were sold globally in 2016 - that's a million bottles per minute.

Of these, 110bn were made by drinks giant Coca Cola.


Image

Image

Image
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 18 Dec 2017, 11:33:38

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42264788
Good written and visual summary of the planets huge Plastic problem
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 14:15:31

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... waste-2030

EU declaring war on single-use plastics.


Perhaps other nations and regions will follow suit?
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 19:07:09

From above....

“It’s urgent because of the change in the Chinese position. We can’t export these plastics any more to China. The knee-jerk reaction is that we will have to burn or bury it here. Let’s use this opportunity to show we can also recycle it here.”

Why not just not produce it in the first place? I’ve long advocated that disposal costs of plastics and other packaging be included in the up front consumer costs. For the ample a 10¢ (or thereabouts) tax on every single plastic bag. The funds would be directed to clean up and recovery efforts. Same for plastic bottles, straws, styrofoam cups, bubble wrap, etc.

Seems to make sense to me.

Of course it would trash the plastics industry. I’m OK with that.

PS: A bit of irony I noted that as typing this I’m enjoying a bit of premade pudding in a plastic container, noted the hypocrite! :oops:
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 20:23:04

"Why not just not produce it in the first place?"

Exactly!!

And hey, we all are stuck in the industrial economy that is wrecking the world, basically stuck in a moral hell, so no one with an ounce of morals can escape being a bit of a hypocrite once in a while (if not pretty much all the time).
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby GHung » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 20:43:41

dohboi wrote:"Why not just not produce it in the first place?"

Exactly!!

And hey, we all are stuck in the industrial economy that is wrecking the world, basically stuck in a moral hell, so no one with an ounce of morals can escape being a bit of a hypocrite once in a while (if not pretty much all the time).


Plastic packaging is deeply embedded in the economy, especially food packaging. I bought some salmon from the butcher counter a while back and they always put the fish or meat in a plastic bag before wrapping it in wax paper (probably plasticized paper). I don't like packaging I can't use for fuel in the woodstove so I asked him to skip the plastic bag and just wrap it in paper. He said he couldn't. "It's the rules". I'm sure there are all sorts of liability issues with "inadequate packaging", and institutional and legal requirements for plastic this or that. And medical supplies? Plastic everywhere.

Try undoing all of that.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 28 Feb 2018, 19:42:17

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pl ... 0cb3cba57e
The number they came to is mind-boggling: 8.3 billion metric tons of virgin plastics produced worldwide since 1950. That’s as heavy as 25,000 Empire State Buildings or a billion elephants, according to the BBC.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 06:24:11

Grocery bags and takeout containers aren't enough. It's time to phase out all single-use plastic

Faced with an unholy tonnage of chip bags, soda bottles, takeout containers and other disposable plastic items flowing into our landfills and our waters, winding up in wildlife, drinking water and food, policymakers in California have tried reining in plastic waste bit by bit. For example, more than 100 cities have adopted restrictions on polystyrene takeout containers, and the state has banned single-use plastic grocery bags.

Considering the magnitude of the problem, however, this item-by-item, city-by-city approach isn't going to cut it. ...


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editoria ... story.html
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 06:28:56

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/201 ... vironment/

Fishing tackle makes up much of the floating garbage island in the Pacific

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSxihhBzCjk

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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 06:42:25

We found that in Puerto Rico they don’t use plastic shopping bags. You need to bring your own bag.

Most of the places we have been to are cleaner, less wayside trash, less trash on the streets than in the USA.

I was standing on a dock in PR, a big Tarpoon Cake by, like 8’. They hang around restaurants for food scraps. Anyway, as I’m watching him he slurps up a clear plastic bag that was floating on the water. I didn’t see it until just as he vacuumed it up. The next day there was a big tarpoon dead in the marina.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 06:47:50

Very sad.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby baha » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 07:42:08

I have solved this problem in my own head :)

Take a big ship with a skimmer and gather plastic. Use heat or adhesive to turn that plastic into bricks. Assemble the bricks into a ship with a skimmer that gathers plastic...etc...

When the ocean is clean use the bricks to make houses...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriewink ... 42e2a87894

Why in the hell do we use something with a 1000 year lifetime for throwaway wrappings? Use paper for your meat and build your house with plastic 8O
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 08:16:22

baha wrote:I have solved this problem in my own head :)

Take a big ship with a skimmer and gather plastic.

Great minds think alike. :)
I'd just compress and bale it at sea and do the recycling on shore.
How to separate the fish and seaweed from the plastic is the part of the problem I'm still toying with.
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Re: Plastic and the Oceans

Unread postby ozcad » Sun 08 Apr 2018, 11:00:08

I think an important distinction to be made is the difference between 'degradeable' and 'bio-degradeable'. The first decays to ever smaller bits with nano-particle riskiness. The second term describes a material which can & will be digested by bugs as food, to become pooped out as non-toxic organic material.
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