Ocean of plastic

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❝ Globally, public awareness is growing about the harm being done by plastic, which hurts marine life and instead of biodegrading breaks down into ubiquitous micro-plastics. According to science writer Mike Berners-Lee, of the 9 billion tons of plastic ever produced, 5.4 billion has been dumped onto land or into the sea — enough to shrink-wrap the entire planet.

Please RTFA. Look at these photos. Heartbreaking to an old geek like me who grew up subsistence fishing the New England coast.

5 thoughts on “Ocean of plastic

  1. 3CardMonte says:

    “West Virginia Bets Big on Plastics, and on Backing of Trump Administration : The state’s leaders want a federal loan guarantee to build a giant chemical storage plant that could cost as much as $10 billion.” (ProPublica 7/31/19) https://www.propublica.org/article/appalachian-storage-and-trading-hub-ethane-west-virginia-plastics-backing-of-trump-administration “In April, the president issued an executive order on energy that encouraged “opportunities, through the federal government or otherwise, to promote economic growth of the Appalachian region, including growth of petrochemical and other industries.” And the president’s newest budget proposal includes funds to study the region’s gas-related industrial potential.
    …China had agreed to invest tens of billions of dollars in West Virginia’s natural gas industry but now is embroiled in a trade war with Trump. And American Ethane, a Houston-based company financed by three Russian businessmen, has signed 20-year contracts to send ethane produced in the United States to China, which could raise prices and weaken demand for the facility proposed for West Virginia.”

  2. Mr. McGuire says:

    “Trash or Treasure? Adapting to recycling’s new normal” https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2019/08/05/trash-or-treasure-adapting-to-recyclings-new-normal/ “A 2018 Chinese government ban on plastic waste imports led to a worldwide recycling crisis. Recycling programs across the U.S. have struggled to respond to an oversupply of materials, stricter contamination standards and higher processing costs as the glut of recyclables crashed commodity prices and led buyers worldwide to become far more choosy about quality.
    A Greenpeace report found that in 2017, prior to the ban, 70 percent of U.S. plastic waste was exported to China and Hong Kong. https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/10/05/plastic-waste-china-ban-united-states-america/
    Plastics degrade over time into tiny particles, some smaller than the width of a human hair, known as microplastics. A 2019 study of both active and closed landfills in China found that instead of being a sealed “final sink” for plastics, landfills were in fact a source of microplastics leaching into groundwater. And microplastics have pervaded every corner of the world, including remote lakes, deep oceans, soils and even the air. A French study found evidence of microplastic pollutants traveling 75 miles via air currents, while a research team documented microplastic contamination in limestone aquifers in the Midwest. [see links]
    Meanwhile plastic consumption continues to climb, with global plastic production expected to triple by 2050, according to the World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/plastic-might-just-be-the-solution-to-its-own-problem/

    • Update says:

      “Ocean Plastic Pollution Could Triple By 2040” https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN24O2RK “New research released this summer, produced by scientists and industry experts for The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ, offers solutions that could cut the projected volume of plastic entering the ocean by more than 80%.
      The roadmap for stemming the runaway ocean plastic waste crisis is among the most detailed ever offered in a study.
      If no action is taken, however, the amount of plastic going into the sea every year will rise from 11 million tonnes to 29 million tonnes, leaving a cumulative 600 million tonnes swilling in the ocean by 2040, the equivalent weight of 3 million blue whales, according to the study published in the journal Science.”
      Biologists calculated the total mass of humans living on Earth in 2012 to be 287 million [metric] tonnes.
      • A short Ton is the US customary version, and equal to 2,000 pounds
      • A long Ton is the mostly outdated Imperial Ton, equal to 2,240 pounds
      • A tonne, also known as a metric Ton, is equal to 1000kg, (or 2,204.6 pounds)
      Science: “Evaluating scenarios toward zero plastic pollution” https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6510/1455

  3. Plas says:

    “The incredible journey of the electronic plastic bottle : Researchers loaded containers with trackers and let them float away.” https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/the-incredible-journey-of-the-electronic-plastic-bottle/
    “Message in a bottle: Open source technology to track the movement of plastic pollution” https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0242459
    Also: “anti-plastic crusaders have another plan to keep junk from reaching the sea: trash-eating barges in rivers.” https://www.wired.com/story/ocean-cleanup-interceptor/

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