A million plastic bottles a minute

Standingstones

Celestial
All that plastic will be sitting in a landfill for decades to come. I am betting it will give radioactive waste a run for its money! Just kidding.
 

pigfarmer

tall, thin, irritable
Thanks, I didn't know about that, I looked it up and did a little reading, seems for many years now they have been adding synthetic polymers with the rubber which would wear down and wear off and into the ground or the atmosphere...

No wonder tires don't last as long as they used to, plastic wears down faster than rubber...Rubber has more flexibility than plastic but plastic is overly cheaper than rubber too...

Plastic tires, plastic clothes, plastic to contain our food and water, even plastic in our tooth paste...x...3

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If you ever have the chance to spend time up in the rafters of large warehouses it's common to find a rubbery smelling dusty funk all over everything - from fork lifts and many years. I never thought about cars that way - all that crap has to go somewhere.
 

nivek

As Above So Below
Plastic ‘Pool’ Toy Pollution in the Wild
Summer Brings a Macro Microplastic Problem to Natural Waterways


A new trend of pool toys containing glitter and microbeads is complicating the already pervasive environmental problem of microplastic pollution.

University of California, Davis, scientists studying plastics pollution encourage beach-goers to take care to leave natural waterways as clean or cleaner than they found them this summer by reducing their use of all forms of plastic at the beach and leaving pool toys full of microbeads and glitter at home.

‘A microplastics bomb’

Pool toys are intended for use in pools, where, if they break, the damage is limited to that pool. But such toys are often brought to lakes, oceans, rivers and other water bodies. When they burst, their glittery, beady contents spill across the water and pollute aquatic and human environments.

Alison Toy, education program manager of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Sciences Center, or TERC, came upon such a scene at Lake Tahoe’s Moon Dunes Beach in early July. Thousands of tiny foam balls floated across the surface. She quickly shared the damage and the offending pool toy on her Instagram account, which spurred a cleanup and regional media interest.

“It was like a microplastics bomb exploded on the beach,” said Toy’s colleague Katie Senft, a TERC field researcher who studies microplastics. “It was heartbreaking to see polyethylene balls all over our beautiful shoreline.”

Senft is leading a research project to determine the fate of microplastics at Lake Tahoe. It involves trawling for plastics and examining the bellies of fish and clams to understand food chain impacts. A microplastic is about the size of a rice grain or smaller. Senft has found fragments of toys, bottles, diapers, chip bags and more.

All that glitters

A 2015 study from UC Davis estimated that 8 trillion microbeads alone are emitted every day into U.S. waters. Pool floats full of microbeads and glitter that can smash against rocks and rip open add a troublesome layer.

“Glitter is impossible to clean up in your house,” Senft said. “Imagine trying to clean it up from a lake or beach.”

Jenessa Gjeltema, assistant professor of zoological medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, conducts plastic analysis while also working to improve methodology to more accurately assess the health impacts of plastics in the environment. With her background in practicing veterinary medicine for wildlife, she’s interested in the interrelated impacts of plastics on wildlife, humans and the environment.

“Think about how many particles you might release in a simple teaspoon of glitter,” Gjeltema said. “What may have been intended to be used for only a few minutes may then remain in the environment for hundreds or thousands of years. Glitter may seem like a wonderful magical moment, but it’s a moment that extends for such a long time afterward, and we are only at the tip of the iceberg of learning what the effects of that will be.”

Gjeltema notes that some of the known impacts for wildlife and ecosystems include:

  • Entanglements. While tangled sea turtles may come to mind, tiny plankton can get twined up in microplastics, too.
  • Microbeads are often the size and shape of a fish egg, and wildlife can and do mistake them for food.
  • Plastics contain a variety of potentially harmful chemicals, which are released over time into the environment.
  • Plastics can serve as a vehicle for hazardous substances. For instance, plastic can absorb pollutants from the environment and transfer them to animals, like filter-feeding mussels at a lake or ocean bottom.
(More on the link)

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nivek

As Above So Below

Baby Turtles Are Eating a Disturbing Amount of Plastic

(Excerpt)

The researchers found that more turtles ingested plastic in the Pacific Ocean than the Indian Ocean. Four in five flatback and green sea turtles contained plastic, while 86% of loggerhead turtles did, and about one-third of the olive ridley turtles the team found across the Pacific basin. In the Indian Ocean, only 28% of flatback turtles contained plastic, followed by 21% of loggerheads, and 9% of green turtles.

This was no trace amount of plastic, either. Green turtles consumed as much as 1% of their total body mass in plastic, and for flatback turtles that number was up to 2%. It’s the equivalent of an NFL linebacker eating five pounds (2.3 kilograms) of plastic.

The types of plastic also differed between the two oceans. “Plastic in the Pacific turtles was mostly hard fragments, which could come from a vast range of products used by humans, while Indian Ocean plastics were mostly fibers—possibly from fishing ropes or nets,” said Emily Duncan, a conservation biologist at University of Exeter and the study’s lead author, in a press release. (Those fishing ropes and nets are also a deadly danger for large species like sharks.)

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Area201

cold fusion
I've switched to 5gal drums that I reuse for water in the house for coffee and tea.

But I still am stuck using 20-30% of drinks in plastic bottles as they don't provide an option (HINT water). Switched to aluminum cans whenever possible (dr pepper).

Plastic bags already discontinued in supermarkets here, if I had it my way, I'd make plastic water bottles illegal.
 

nivek

As Above So Below
People also forget about all the plastic clothing worn today and continually washed with those microplastic particles discrded in the wash and going into the water systems then eventually those clothes are discarded...Do you wear polyester clothing, nylon, spandex and a few others?...

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nivek

As Above So Below
World's plastic pollution threat is a 'planetary emergency' equal to climate change and a global treaty will be needed to fight the crisis, damning report warns

The world's plastic pollution threat constitutes a 'planetary emergency' that's equal to climate change and biodiversity loss, a new report warns. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has urged nations globally to agree to a UN treaty so they're committed to legally binding targets to combat plastic waste.

Plastic pollution directly undermines our health, drives biodiversity loss, exacerbates climate change and risks 'large-scale harmful environmental changes', the EIA says. Plastic is found in the deepest parts of the ocean, on the highest mountain peaks, in human organs and on remote and uninhabited islands.

Dedicated multilateral agreements to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change have been in place for nearly 30 years, the agency said. However, no equivalent currently exists to tackle plastic pollution, which it calls 'one of the most prevalent and destructive environmental pollutants in existence'.

'There is a deadly ticking clock counting swiftly down,' said Tom Gammage, an ocean campaigner at the EIA, a non-governmental organisation with offices in London and Washington DC. 'Plastic emissions into the oceans alone are due to triple by 2040, in line with growing plastics production.

'The visible nature of plastic pollution has generated huge public concern but the vast majority of plastic pollution impacts are invisible.'

The new report, titled Connecting the Dots: Plastic pollution and the planetary emergency, pulls together recent scientific data on the impact of plastics on climate, biodiversity, human health and the environment.

By 2025, there will be an estimated 250 million tonnes of plastic in the oceans, it says, citing previous studies. By 2040, it could be almost 700 million tonnes, and by 2050 the weight of plastic will likely far exceed the weight of all fish in every ocean on Earth.

The report blames 'toxic' plastic pollution on the rampant overproduction of virgin plastics — plastic resin that has been newly created without any recycled materials. Virgin plastics are less environmentally-friendly than recycled plastic, which helps build a 'circular economy' — where material resources are used again and again for as long as possible.

Virgin plastic production and consumption have reached unsustainable levels, fed by the oil and gas industry investing heavily in production of petrochemicals — the chemical products obtained from petroleum by refining, according to the report.

In total, plastic production releases about 1.89 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per tonne of virgin plastic produced. 'The damage done by rampant overproduction of virgin plastics and their life-cycle is irreversible – this is a threat to human civilisation and the planet's basic ability to maintain a habitable environment,' said Gammage.


(More on the link)

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nivek

As Above So Below
Nanoplastic pollution is found in the Arctic AND Antarctica for the first time: Tyre particles are among contamination seen at the North and South poles

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Toxic nanoplastics have been discovered on both tips of the globe for the first time, scientists revealed. Researchers from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands found the harmful plastics — including tyre particles — have been polluting Greenland for as long as 50 years.

And they also found the particles in as remote a region as Antartica, suggesting they are a 'bigger pollution problem than we thought'.

Nanoplastics are smaller and more poisonous than microplastics, which have been found all over the world. Their full impact of both on human health is not yet known.

Experts fear they could pose a major problem to humans and other animals, with the amount of plastic in the ocean expected to triple by 2040.

The Environmental Investigation Agency earlier this week announced the world's plastic pollution threat constitutes a 'planetary emergency' equal to climate change.


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nivek

As Above So Below
Bottles, cans, batteries: octopuses found using litter on seabed

Creatures seen using discarded items for shelter or to lay eggs, highlighing ‘extreme ability to adapt’

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Octopuses were seen carrying plastic items around while ‘stilt-walking’. Photograph: Serge Abourjeily
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Whether it’s mimicking venomous creatures, or shooting jets of water at aquarium light switches to turn them off, octopuses are nothing if not resourceful. Now, an analysis of underwater images suggests octopuses are increasingly using discarded bottles, cans, and other human rubbish as shelter or as a sanctuary for their eggs.

The study – the first to systematically evaluate and characterise litter use by octopuses using crowdsourced images – analysed hundreds of underwater photos posted on social media platforms and image databases, or collected by marine biologists and diving interest groups.

The research, published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, documented 24 species of octopus sheltering inside glass bottles, cans, and even an old battery; burying themselves under a mixture of bottle tops and seashells; even carrying plastic items around while “stilt-walking” on two tentacles, to conceal themselves from predators.

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The most common interaction recorded was using rubbish as shelter. Photograph: Edmar Bastos

“The deep-sea records were extremely interesting, because even at great depths these animals are interacting with the litter,” said Prof Maira Proietti at the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil, who supervised the research. “They clearly see that there’s a lot of litter around, and it can therefore act as a kind of artificial camouflage.

“It shows their extreme ability to adapt. They are very intelligent animals, and they will use what they have at their disposal to continue sheltering or walking around with protection.”

The octopuses seemed to show a preference for unbroken items, as well as darker or opaque containers, and the most common interaction recorded was using rubbish as shelter.

Proietti said: “While these interactions could seem positive for the animals because they are lacking natural shelters such as seashells, it is not a good thing to think that the animals may be using litter as shelter because the seashells are gone.”

Sheltering or laying eggs inside discarded tyres, batteries or plastic objects could also expose octopuses to heavy metals and other harmful chemicals, she said.


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michael59

Celestial
Guatemalan coastlines after anti-waste barrier failure.





There is no way it would have held. The runoff was no where near slowing down and it was already at the top of the fence. If it had not sprung a leak, it would have flowed over the top.
 

pigfarmer

tall, thin, irritable
so ...... in the course of be settling in, being settled and settling in general ..... I just observe and try not to get too much of my employer's nonsense on me. But sometimes you just note something totally ludicrous.

In retail there is a certain percentage of product that is never sold and has to be accounted for. **** just gets broken sometimes and there is a procedure where it is accounted for and disposed of. Makes sense until you see it in action, they call it 'shrinkage'. These things are rarely if ever resold or donated, 99% of the time a manager unlocks a whopping big steel door and they pitch all that crap down into a compactor. What happens to it after that and where it goes is speculation but generally of the stuff around here is sorted and a lot of it incinerated so there is a process to reclaim some of it anyway.

Thing is, I see siding, doors, windows, tools, appliances - anything you can possibly think of going down the chute. That's why it's locked. I have learned to ignore it. But the other day I saw them shoveling tons of top soil and mulch from broken bags into it. ****ing DIRT is going into the garbage.

Think about the amount of energy - fossil fuel - that was expended making that crap and bringing it here and then how much is expended to get rid of DIRT. Somehow expending energy to put dirt back into the landfill seems stupid to me. Then you start to think of all the consumer goods, where they were made, under what conditions by who, how they arrived here and how much energy it cost to do all that so we can burn more energy to throw it all away.

You want to plug in your electric car to save the world ? Penny wise and pound foolish I say.

There are other things ET might see beyond our weaponry that would give them pause. If we found a group of uncontacted people who wantonly consumed resources, fought all the time amongst each other and basically **** the joint up right where they eat .... why speak to them at all?
 
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