Wet plastic

By Saperaud [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
I’ve only recently, this year, become aware of some of the facts about plastic in the oceans.

Plastic Oceans is a good source of some information but here are some other  links too (here, here, here, here, here).

It’s sad to see that even the remote Southern Ocean has high levels of plastic, tiny pieces of plastic, floating around in it.

I wonder where that plastic bottle I used 30 years ago is now?  How much of it is in each of the world’s oceans?

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4 Replies to “Wet plastic”

  1. It is shocking all that plastic, shame I have to use that dreaded "H" word again, but what hypocrisy, I refer to a recent (last week) motor show and a certain German car maker. Greenpeace, whose many campaigns include plastic in the sea, plastic shopping bags etc, turn up to highlight the hypocrisy of said car maker opting out of recent emissions proposals, apart from banners what was the eco warriors choice of protest....to drop thousands of plastic ballons onto the car stand, I wonder if those ballons will end up in lanfill or shipped off into a container to be "fly tipped" in a developing/third world country and probably end up in the sea...how ironic it would be to a beach comber in time to come to find a yellow ballon with GREENPEACE wash up on his/he beach

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    1. Hi Douglas, I'm not quite sure what you're point is. The hypocracy of this incident is greater than the problem of, as Mark so nicely puts it, wet plastic?

      Sigh.

      While I'm not ever likely to defend stupidity, such as this admittedly stupid-sounding use of balloons in a demonstration, Greenpeace is a get-together of people who want to fight for our environment. People come in all levels of understanding and perspectives; it's hard to always get things 100 pc right, let alone so that everyone would agree on everything. I'd rather we had some stupidity and some greatness, as no greatness in fear of doing something wrong.

      Greenpeace is out there doing stuff. Critical thinking is good, but wouldn't it be better to direct the criticism to Greenpeace, to offer your input to their use and learning? Maybe you have already done so, just forgot to mention it.

      The problem of plastic in the ocean isn't going away while we bicker over who's being a hypocrite.

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      1. In one of my past jobs I worked for a company and all we did was haul large containers back and forth out of Felixstowe container port. When all the local governments started to "recycle" everything we all of sudden started to haul containers from certain spots of the UK. These containers were stuffed to the brim with bales of banded cardboard and plastic, stuff we think is being recycled. You'd find newspapers,drink bottles and even peoples bank statements! These containers were then shipped to the port, the end destination was certain west and east coast African countries,India but a lot going to Manilla and Phillipines. This stuff was then dumped onto rubbish tips, not landfills, were (I have to point out I saw this next bit on TV) kids would then scavenge for anything they could get there hands on. It also showed because this waste was sitting in the open for ages that the plastic would actually end up in the natural enviroment including the sea.
        My point was that these ballons would almost likey not end up being recycled. And to qoute one over used phrase yet apt one "If you're not a part of the solution, you're part of the problem". I emailed Greenpeace the day the incident happend, yet one week on, no reply. Maybe they're embarrased? Maybe they don't really care. But if truckers like myself witness what is really happening to our "recycled" waste why can't the might of big enviromental organisations see the truth?

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        1. Douglas, it is possible to by latex balloons that biodegrade. I expect Greenpeace used these, they are after all expert "environmentalists" and, I should think, would not arrange an event at which they themselves might get accused of polluting the environment.

          However, to get back to the original issue - that of plastic in the sea - I'm sure Greenpeace members and employees all wear modern outdoorsy walking clothes (as do I). I have long been concerned about their impact on our environment of these items (for example my Craghopper brand nanotechnology water resistant trousers). The water resistance soon washes out- hence the nanoparticles are ending up in the water that drains out of my washing machine and into the sewage system. From what I have read in the article from the BBC which is on the Plastic Ocean website, it seems just abut everything we wear that is made from man-made fibres is causing harm to wildlife. The answer is to wear organic cotton and wool clothes only. While the external costs to the environment of organic wool and cotton clothes is low the items themselves are expensive for an individual to buy, . With the cheap clothes most of us buy, the external costs to our environment are high. Unfortunately most of us buy cheap clothes.

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