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Plastic in Pacific Increased 100-Fold Options
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Plastic in Pacific Increased 100-Fold

Over the past 40 years, the quantity of plastic waste floating in the northeastern Pacific has increased 100-fold, affecting marine life in myriad ways. One issue that has received much attention is the ingestion of tiny, broken down plastic particles by marine organisms. However, researchers also recently uncovered another consequence of the increased presence of plastic—it is making it easier for certain marine insects to reproduce. Halobates sericeus requires a hard surface on which to lay its eggs, and the hundreds of millions of plastic particles now floating in the Pacific Ocean are providing them with ample breeding ground. More...
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 8:32:53 AM

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And the Oscar goes to: "When Halobates Attack"!
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 5:56:36 PM

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What to do: nothing. Normal people cannot do nothing. All governments are victims of big pharma, big tobacco and big chemical companies... We can observe, suffer and passively wait a possible great political and behavioral change in modern societies.
Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2012 9:18:57 AM

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Reporting such as this is annoying. To simply state something has increased 100-fold without giving any baseline, means nearly nothing.

Did it increase from 1 oz. to 100 oz? From 1 lb. to 100 lbs.? From 1 ton to 100 tons? Further, it is reported that plastic disintegrates quickly in the ocean, so is it a problem or simply someone trying to drum up some hysteria where none is warranted? Or is it that nothing can be reported anymore without making it sound like the apocalypse?
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:42:22 AM
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Joined: 8/31/2011
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I agree FounDit with your statement that you have to read the article and not just the title to find exactly what the increase is.

However, it very well could be an apocalypse and as Stefan says, unless governments step up, and we as consumers stop using plastic, we will never control it. There is probably no solution to what is already there.(Our present CDN govt is probably the worst for ignoring the environment.)

Plastic is not good for human health. We personally use glass containers, including carrying the same glass refilled water bottle with us everywhere. (Water is from a reverse osmosis system under the sink.) We have our own stainless coffee mugs in the car, we take our reusable washable grocery bags into the store. Charging people a nickel a plastic bag at the grocery store has helped somewhat. We freeze food in Mason jars. Our municipality (including in condos) recycles everything possible. We do everything possible to not use plastic and to keep it out of the environment.

Teflon leaks plastic into the food from the cooking dish. I get a headache if I inadvertently eat food from a Teflon-pan-cooked food. We use stainless steel pots and measuring instruments.

Plastic can mimic estrogenic properties and as such can cause disease.

I have put some facts about this Enormous Garbage Patch in the ocean in the next post.
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:47:14 AM
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Joined: 8/31/2011
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The Great Garbage Patch

"In August 2009, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography/Project Kaisei SEAPLEX survey mission of the Gyre found that plastic debris was present in 100 consecutive samples taken at varying depths and net sizes along a 1,700 miles (2,700 km) path through the patch. The survey also confirmed that, while the debris field does contain large pieces, it is on the whole made up of smaller items that increase in concentration toward the Gyre's centre, and these 'confetti-like' pieces are clearly visible just beneath the surface.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has one of the highest levels known of plastic particulate suspended in the upper water column. As a result, it is one of several oceanic regions where researchers have studied the effects and impact of plastic photodegradation in the neustonic layer of water.[19] Unlike debris, which biodegrades, the photodegraded plastic disintegrates into ever smaller pieces while remaining a polymer. This process continues down to the molecular level.[20]

As the plastic flotsam photodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces, it concentrates in the upper water column. As it disintegrates, the plastic ultimately becomes small enough to be ingested by aquatic organisms that reside near the ocean's surface. Thus, plastic waste enters the food chain through its concentration in the neuston.

Some plastics decompose within a year of entering the water, leaching potentially toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A, PCBs, and derivatives of polystyrene.[21]"

Another source of info :

"In the vast area of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, jellyfish and other filter feeders frequently consume or become tangled in floating trash. See more ocean conservation pictures.
Image courtesy Algalita Marine Research Foundation

Could we clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

In t­he broad expanse of the northern Pacific Ocean, there exists the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a slowly moving, clockwise spiral of currents created by a high-pressure system of air currents. The area is an oceanic desert, filled with tiny phytoplankton but few big fish or mammals. Due to its lack of large fish and gentle breezes, fishermen and­ s­ailors rarely travel through the gyre. But the area is filled with something besides plankton: trash, millions of pounds of it, most of it plastic. It's the largest landfill in the world, and it floats in the middle of the ocean.

The gyre has actually given birth to two large masses of ever-accumulating trash, known as the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches, sometimes collectively called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Eastern Garbage Patch floats between Hawaii and California; scientists estimate its size as two times bigger than Texas [source: LA Times]. The Western Garbage Patch forms east of Japan and west of Hawaii. Each swirling mass of refuse is massive and collects trash from all over the world. The patches are connected by a thin 6,000-mile long current called the Subtropical Convergence Zone. Research flights showed that significant amounts of trash also accumulate in the Convergence Zone."


The debris from the Japanese tsunami is already hitting Vancouver and then it will hit Hawaii in the near future.


This information is all scary stuff to me. I send letters to my govt about the environment but they are promptly ignored in favor of 'the econony'. I donate to the Suzuki Foundation, a Canadian Environmental group founded by David Suzuki, and they do what they can to prod the govt.
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