Jun 12, 2014
Julia

Smart Advice About Marine Garbage Patches?

Our oceans are the source of most of the earths oxygen and are an essential part of our global ecosystem. The waste we develop from our plastic addiction is actually threatening our oceans. According to the Californians Against Waste (CAW), ‘In a few of the most contaminated areas of the Pacific, plastic has already surpassed plankton by a factor of six!’.

According to a recent short article in the San Francisco Chronicle there is a ‘a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that’s two times the size of Texas.’ This continent sized particles heap has been labelled the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by marine biologists. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is included actually millions of points of garbage – the majority of it plastic. In 2006 the United Nations Environment Program approximated that in each square mile of ocean you can discover 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. It is literally the world’s largest landfill, and it is drifting in the Pacific ocean.

Just When You Thought You Had Heard It All…

How does the plastic bag you took hours from the supermarket end up in the Pacific ocean? As much as 90 % of the plastic discovered in our oceans regretfully comes from city runoff.

While a growing number of waste collects, more is being developed. In the past 20 years plastic production has actually doubled and is still continuing to expand. With plastic products offering makers a life expectancy of 1,000 years unless customers react to this issue, it will just grow.

The throwaway culture is expanding. Where prior to it was primarily a western (and common American) way of life, the expansion of plastic items has discovered its way into the culture of up-and-coming economies like China and India. So even though we are attempting to ‘cut down’ on our usage and waste of plastic items, the truth is that there are more plastic items being produced now than ever before. And as production increases, so does that amount of plastics that find their method into our oceans.

The complete consequences of our cultures use of single use plastics could not be understood for several years. In those years it is extremely possible that plastic production will remain to increase and even more contaminates will enter our oceans, our food cycle, and our lives. I do not act to understand the responses. I just wish to assist others to become more mindful.

The quantity of plastic found in our oceans is having a profound result on lots of different animals. Some biologists approximate that millions of birds and other marine species have simply died from starvation or some sort of poisoning after erroneously ingesting plastic when searching for food. Our diminishing sea turtle populace is at extreme threat.

This is due to the fact that sea birds, turtles, whales and other animals that depend on the oceans for their food are ingesting drifting plastic, often by mishap and at other times due to the fact that it is mistaken for jellyfish and squid or other types of victim.

According to the United Nations Environment Program we are facing exactly what some could consider an impossible issue, they specify that in ‘some locations, huge pieces can be collected, but it’s merely not possible to completely clean a section of ocean that periods the location of a continent and extends 100 feet below the surface area.’.

While plastic can be reused its not a cut and dry procedure. Reusing petrochemical resins or plastics is both a complicated and pricey process. When plastic is recycled post-consumer they are normally’ downcycled.’ When a plastic food container is downcycled it is recycled, but it will never ever certify as food grade plastic once more. Each time the plastic is downcycled some level of value is lost. If any item needs downcycling it ought to not be considered a sustainable alternative.

Any recycling alternative is better the creating waste. According to SIGG, ‘Over 100 million plastic water bottles are disposed into America’s landfills– every day!’ By the end of each year we reach a marvelous total amount of nearly 40 billion plastic bottles. If each piece of plastic takes 1,000 years to the rate, not nodules, it appears we are producing waste as a difficult to keep rate. To compound the concern these numbers represent ‘water bottles’ which are simply a part of our bigger plastic addiction.

Unlike many other products, plastic does not biodegrade – instead it photodegrades. As plastic nodules it breaks down into smaller and smaller sized pieces of plastic instead of splitting into easier compounds. With so much plastic in our ocean the smidgens of plastic produced through photodegradation are called mermaid splits or nurdles.

The problems with lots of plastic products are that while it is a versatile material, it does break down by being exposed to sunshine into smaller sized and smaller pieces. It takes years for the plastic gradually break down into ever smaller pieces which floats just under the surface.

As the plastic breaks down into smaller pieces, it is consumed by marine animals, plankton, fish and birds who mistake it as food.

It’s these small fragments that are consumed initially by filter feeders in the ocean, then gradually work their method up the food cycle as they are eaten by bigger animals.

With the impressive quantities of plastic waste found not only in our oceans but likewise our landfills, it should not be surprising that chemicals are slowing working their way through the food chain and into foods typical food in our human diet plans. The CAW states, ‘Nearly all people carry in our body chemicals present in plastics– raising alarming questions about the role plastics play in human wellness and diseases such as cancer and autism.’.

However, practical plastics are, however typical, they have become it’s time for us to take a look at the effect they are carrying our environment and our health. With even more sustainable options such as glass already offered isn’t really it time we treated ourselves of our plastic addiction.

Leave a comment