It’s a plastic ocean out there. Ocean essentially functions as the global kitchen sink. Beaches throughout South East Asia are closing and whales are being found dead with a belly full of plastic. Over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than all of the 20th century. We look at exactly how our trash and plastic ends up in our oceans and the impact it’s having on our environment, in the video “Plastic pollution crisis: How waste ends up in our oceans“, below:
United Nations – Plastic – both a wonderful invention and a scourge on our planet. Over 300 million tons will be produced this year.
Most is never recycled and remains on our land and in our seas for ever. Our story shows the damage to all creatures who depend on the ocean for their food – from birds… to us, in the video “Plastic Ocean“, below:
Plastic pollution poses one of the biggest known threats to the ocean, influencing all ecosystems from beautiful coral reefs to abyssal trenches, eventually accumulating in our own food. Learn more about how to upend the current system of produce-use-discard, and transition to a system which promotes reuse and repurposing of plastics, in the video “How We Can Keep Plastics Out of Our Ocean, National Geographic“, below:
The ultimate goal of the plastic economy is to design an economy where there will be no wasted plastics. That means: every player in the chain to change the way they operate.
More than eight million tons of plastic is thrown away each year and washed out to sea. It takes centuries to break down. It’s eaten by marine creatures. And it’s in our food chain. Your seafood supper may have a synthetic garnish. Scientists just don’t know what effects it has on our health, in the video “Special report: A Plastic Tide, OceanRescue” below:
Until 2018, China had been America’s — and the world’s — number one recycling market. But China has shut its doors to plastic waste, which could result by 2030 in more than 100 million tons of trash with nowhere to go. So how did our recycling become so reliant on a country half a world away? Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports, in the video “Why your recyclables might have no place to go“, below:
Let’s all use reusable bags when going shopping. Perhaps more governments need to consider taxing the use of single-use plastic bags and to reward industries gearing toward reuse/recycled/reduced plastic products. Perhaps it is time to re-educate our population group from throw-away society to re-use society.
In Japan, there is the implementation of Pay-As-You-Throw policy, in the video “Japan’s garbage disposal minimization projects, ABC New“, below:
Plastics are everywhere in our lives, but those bottles, utensils, and electronics can take hundreds of years to decompose. Since the material is too useful to abandon, we’re faced with two problems: how can we develop environmentally friendly products, and how do we clean up the plastics we’ve already discarded? We travel to a materials lab in Minnesota and a recycling plant in California to find the answers in this episode of Unsolvable, in the video “Inside the Lab That Could Solve the World’s Plastics Problem (Unsolvable” Episode 1)“, below:
On May 11th 2017, Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch foundation developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, announced a design breakthrough allowing for the cleanup of half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years. The main idea behind The Ocean Cleanup is to let the ocean currents do the work. An installation of U-shaped screens channels floating plastic to a central point. The concentrated plastic can then be extracted and shipped to shore for recycling into durable products. The improvements involve the introduction of a mobile, or drifting system. Rather than fixing the floating screens to the seabed at great depths, The Ocean Cleanup will apply sea anchors to ensure the floating screens move slower than the plastic. Rather than one massive barrier, the improved, modular cleanup system consists of a fleet of screens, in the video “Boyan Slat: How we will rid the oceans of plastic (May 2017)“, below:
System 001 is the first system to learn a lot from this new technology. During the four months of deployment, the challenges they faced have brought a greater understanding of the environment of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and how the system behaves in it. All three shifts collected incredible amounts of data which are now being used to enhance the design of the technology. System 001 has been brought back to port, but will return to the patch with an improved design in the the future.
For more about The Ocean Cleanup project and how you may help to support this project, please click HERE.
For more about the lessons and setbacks of System 001 of The Ocean Cleanup project, please click HERE.
As you can see, the plastic pollution problem is and will continue to affect all of us. In addition to the reuse-reduce-recycle approach, it is also critical for us to help to ensure the success of projects such as The Ocean Cleanup, water soluble plastic bags, or renewable bioplastic material.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
I am a mother/wife/daughter, math professor, solar advocate, world traveler, yogi, artist, photographer, sharer of knowledge/information, and resident of Windermere, FL. I've worked professionally in applied math, engineering, medical research, and as a university math professor in IL and FL for about 20 years. My husband and I loved Disney and moved down to Central Florida initially as snowbirds. But we've come to love the warmth and friendly people offered by this community and decided to move down to Windermere, FL full time in 2006. I am now spending time sharing information/ knowledge online, promoting understanding of math and solar energy (via http://www.sunisthefuture.net ), and developing Windermere Sun (http://www.WindermereSun.com) as an online publication, sharing and promoting Community ABC's (Activities-Businesses-Collaborations) for healthier/happier/more sustainable living. In the following posts, I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why Windermere has attracted us to become full-time residents of Central Florida region. Please feel free to leave your comments via email at "Contact Us" in the topbar above or via [email protected]
~Let's help one another~
Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Founder/Owner/Editor/Producer of Windermere Sun
email: [email protected]