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PLASTIC BAGS and our WATER WORLD

Discussion in 'YachtForums Yacht Club' started by brian eiland, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    I just received this slide presentation on plastic bags and their impact on our water world:

    This has convinced me to remember to bring my own bags to the market! Once in the slideshow, use the scroll bar on the right side of the screen to scroll through.

    Everyone on earth should see this. It's that important.​

    And please pass it on-​


  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    The No Free Plastic Bags thing is not so new in the rest of the world, the USA is just very slow on the uptake for this.

    I was recently in a popular store in France like Home Depot, they sell a sturdy plasticized fabric bag for €1, their advert says when it's done it's duty and is in need of replacing it can be exchanged new for old.

    I was also surprised and a bit shocked when at home in supposedly clean green NZ earlier this year to find that while they had green bags on sale like the one shown in the article and like what Pak and Save use in SA that they were still full on with Plastic Give Away bags.
  3. Codger

    Codger YF Wisdom Dept.

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    There is some progress. Couple of weeks ago in Phoenix I bought a couple of parts at a bike shop and they used what looked like a plastic bag but it was made out of corn starch. Only way I knew was that the man at the counter mentioned not to get the bag wet.
    Still, I can't say that I saw many sections of fence during that ride that didn't have a plastic bag hanging from it.
  4. lurker

    lurker New Member

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    Having been to and lived in many countries mentioned in the slides, I think it is rather biased. Many of the countries mentioned such as Canada, Taiwan, and China are still relying heavily on plastic bags.

    Even if I don't use plastic bags for my groceries, I still need to use plastic bags for my garbage. In my case, I use the plastic bags from the supermarket for my garbage.
  5. vivariva

    vivariva Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I conducted a research on recycling during an internship a short time ago. Here is some 'fresh info' on this; firstly, the figures in the slides seem a bit low.

    If you wish to recycle PE bags to 'master-batch' form for re-production, you have to buy a machine that costs $45,000 from China, and assign one person to operate it daily. It doesn't cost $4000 to recycle one ton, I don't understand how they achieved that number. The 'state' in developed countries gives significant subsidies if you send these bags to another country for re-processing. For example, Germany has passed a law for an approximately 50-60 million Euro incentive for exporting plastic waste. So your costs are even less if you use recycled.

    A ton of recycled 'master-batch' PE can be sold for at least more than $200. The $32 figure is too low. If there is someone who sells a ton of PE for $32 I really want their phone number :). The increase in petrol prices affects raw materials including new PE, so recycled bags are even cheaper to use nowadays. I don't understand how manufacturing bags from new PE are cheaper than using recycled polyethylene as the article mentions. The lack of volume in recycled PE production looks like the main inhibitor as to why there isn’t enough to go around for everyone.

    Imho, the households' choice of trash bags will be very important for the future. I might be wrong on my statistics too, also it's difficult to keep track, especially in the case of developing countries.

    An article on 2007 PE raw material prices:

    http://news.dow.com/dow_news/prodbus/2007pricing/20071207a.htm
  6. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    ..submitted to another forum, on this same subject

    I just wrote a paper on this....you mentioned turtles, but I think most people are as of yet unaware how tragic the problem really is among turtles as well as other oceanic species

    For instance twenty five or thirty years ago there were somewhere between120 and 150 million green sea turtles swimming in the gulf of Mexico. Today the estimated population is less than 30 thousand. It was thought they died as incidental catch and accidental boat strikes...turns out this is not the case, they mostly choked to death on plastic bags. We accidentally killed upwards of 150 million adults and an estimated 400 million Juvenal's with plastic bags

    Just for fun, I'll include my latest paper on plastics. It's not done as I haven't gotten the references boiled down to the actual papers cited, nor has it seen the editor. But you may find it interesting.
    regards,
    'Boston'

    _____________________________________________

    Glass Vs Plastic
    Daniel J Robertson
    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, M.I.T., C.U. Boulder Co.

    Abstract
    In regards to plastics use in manufacturing when a glass alternative is available. Compare the manufacturing processes, disposal practices, recycling potential and toxic effects of both glass and plastic and there effects on our environment. Hypothesis, that the preponderance of plastic fragments and molecular plastic, plastic leachates, binders, bio-toxins, bio-toxin accumulators carcinogens and tarterogens hormone disruptors, endocrine disruptors, plastic by products and consequential post and preproduction waste in the environment and there harmful consequence are sufficient to offset any advantages over glass. All conclusions are substantiated in the body and noted.

    Conclusions Glass
    Both glass and glass waste are non toxic and stable in the environment giving off no harmful byproducts. Manufacturing of glass produces pollutants at the source of manufacturing and during materials acquisition, these pollutants can be controlled economically: various network modifiers used in the production of glass appear to play no significant pollution role. Chemically tempered glass is also inert. Lead used in the manufacture of decorative glass falls under the guidelines of EPCRA Section 313 and is exempt being stable with in the glass matrix. There has been a steady decline in pollutants produced pr ton of glass, mainly co2 , noX, soX . Glass is 100% recyclable

    Conclusions Plastic
    Plastic, plastic components, the production of plastic and plastic waste are mildly to extremely toxic all are environmentally detrimental , with results ranging from the release of strong carcinogens and tarterogens to the existence of bio-toxin accumulators and endocrine disruptors. five of the six most toxic and abundant chemical pollutants found in the environment are commonly associated with the production of plastics. Plastic photo-degrades releasing persistent toxins like Bisphenol A and Phthalates over extended periods of time. Plastic is non biodegradable and both the long chain and short chain plastic molecule appears to be permanent in the environment. Pollutants consisting of nurdles, leachates, fragmentary or hole plastic waste cannot be economically controlled. There has been an exponential rise in molecular plastic found throughout the worlds oceans. Animal deaths based on plastic ingestion number in the hundreds of millions with some extinction events and trophic cascades noted. Pollution pr ton of plastic produced appears to be increasing. Most plastic is non recyclable.

    Editor
    This article is presently under development and will be edited upon its completion (so dont come at me with spelling issues)

    Copyright
    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Funding
    This research project has been Anonymously funded, the benefactor having no role in study design, data collections and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript

    Body
    Environmental concerns over glass

    Glass is made up of a few naturally abundant minerals, mostly silicate, and breaks down into natural, harmless components(3,6). Waste glass is environmentally neutral(3). The vast majority of pollution caused by the manufacturing of glass is source point and can be managed economically. Waste glass prepared for reuse, called Cullet is also inert and its increasing use as an aggregate means that it can be economically reused without the need for remanufacture (36). When remanufacturing is advantageous cullet reduces the level of emissions from the process by up to 40% (3,37) and the level of energy by as much as 30% (9,32,35). glass has an Embodied Energy of between 25.0 MJ/kg and 12.7 MJ/kg (1,4,30). and a density of 2470 kg/m3 (1). Glass is 100% recyclable (32). The U.S. glass recycling rate in 2003 was 19% (9) in 2001, for Australia 83%, Sweden: 84%, Germany: 87%, Belgium and Norway: 88%, Finland: 91% and Switzerland: 92% (9). Recycling one ton of glass saves nine to ten gallons of oil (9,32)


    Environmental concerns over plastics

    Plastic is made up of numerous petroleum based compounds, to produce 1 kg of Acrylic (PMMA, Polymethyl methacrylate) (23) 2 kg of petroleum is needed and up to 5 kg of toxic waist is generated (2,3). Plastic never breaks down but instead photo-degrades into some of the most hazardous petrochemical substances known to man (3,6,7,38). PMMA has an embodied energy of about 131.0MJ/kg with a density of 1180 kg/m3 (1,3,30). Although it is difficult to determine the exact production level of plastics per yr. 2007 estimates range from 100,000,000 to 205,000,000 tons (28,45) with an anual increase of 9.5% (45)
    100,000,000,000 plastic bags are used each year in the u.s. alone (10)
    the U.S recovery (recycling) rate for all plastics in 2005 was 1% (3,5,8,10)
    In 2007 World wide, less than 3% is recovered (3,5,8).
    In an EPA ranking of the twenty chemicals whose production generates the most total hazardous waste, five of the top six are chemicals commonly used by the plastic industry. (10)
    recycling one ton of plastic saves 1000 gallons of oil (10,32)

    Plastic as it photo-degrades releases binders like Phthalates, Bisphenol A, Nonyphenols and PBDEs along with countless other known carcinogens and teratogens (3,16,21,25,32). Once the binders are released, plastic remains as a large molecule(3,17). Dioxins are created both during production and incineration (2,3,16,17,31,32,46) dioxins are the strongest carcinogen known to man (3,5,6.7,31,38), The number of harmful chemicals associated with the production of plastic are to numerous to mention in this comparison, however; just one a primary component of acrylics ( mainly polycarbonates ) is bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disrupter, that releases into food and liquid at room temperature(3,16,17,21,), it is considered a teratogen along with thalidomide and is known to cause embryonic malformations (3.8.16). Phthalates have been shown to cause genital malformations
    In 1999 Plastic waste had outweighed plankton in our oceans 6 to 1, by 2002 the number had risen to 10/1 (3,10,11,16,17). The north pacific gyre alone, has a density of 14.8 million visible pieces of floating plastic per square mile, over an area twice the size of texas (3,11). Thats 1.9 pieces of plastic such as, bottles, bottle caps, lighters, beach palls, plastic packaging or plastic aquariums for every square foot of ocean surface spanning an area of 537,202square miles (3,11). This is only one of six mid ocean gyre systems polluted to this extent (39). These areas of floating plastic range in size from twice the size of Texas to the size of Africa (3,11).

    Plastic appears to have a half life longer than most radioactive compounds (3) with its use being required by the epa as containment packaging for low grade nuclear waist disposal (33,43). Polyethylene has been approved for the long term disposal of liquid radioactive waist (3,40,41,42) ( of course they also approved glass, tar and concrete ). The long chain plastic molecule is so durable that its half life is still being researched.

    Plastic virtually never breaks down in the environment beyond the molecular level (3,7,11). We are stuck with every piece of plastic ever created (11). Unless collected and incinerated there is no getting rid of it. Remanufacture is not effective in halting plastics from leaching contaminates into there surroundings. There is little debate over the adverse effects of plastics to the marine environment (ref-all not one dissenting opinion as to plastics harmful effect on the marine ecosystem ), Various forms of marine life, eat so much plastic, mistaking plastic fragments for plankton that it has decimated our ocean communities (10,11,15,16,17,44). Filter feeders unable to distinguish between plastic molecules and plankton, ingest and include millions of tons of plastics into the food chain (3,7,10,11,16,17,32,44), leading to the contamination and eventual starvation of countless organisms (3,10,11,16,17,32,44).

    Additional Comments
    The cost of collecting, destroying or remanufacturing Plastic (as most plastic is uneconomical to remanufacture) “must” be endured no mater how high because of plastics highly toxic and enduring nature; were as the recycling of glass can be safely limited to its economic viability with out adverse environmental effects, as long as source point gaseous emissions are controlled. The embodied energy of acrylic is over ten times that of glass, making it both an economically and environmentally unsound alternative (3,5,14,32). The environmental impact of glass is minimal (3,6,32,36,).

    References
    1 ) Materials, geometry, and net energy ratio of tubular ...
    2 ) http://www.mindfully.org/Berkeley/Be...Task-Force.htm
    3 ) www.mindfully.org/Plastic/
    4 ) measure of sustainability embodied energy
    5 ) http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Bes...le-Plastic.htm
    6 ) http://www.lotuslive.org/products/fi...ontainer01.pdf
    7 ) http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/synth...ranscript.html
    8 ) www.ecologycenter.org
    9 ) Metro: Waste reduction fast facts: Glass
    10 ) Metro: Waste reduction fast facts: Plastic
    11 ) www.acfnewsource.org/environment/
    12 ) www.fragmentsfromfloyd.com/ 2007/06/
    13 ) NRC: Radioactive Waste
    14 ) BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Warning on plastic's toxic threat
    15 ) Keeping our ocean clean : Bradley Beach Today
    16 ) Untitled Document
    17 ) http://www.mountainfilm.org/download...lastic_Sea.pdf
    18 ) http://www.visiongroup.co.uk/go.jsp?...oup_uk.compare comparison of glass and plastic
    19 )http://www.firsttankguide.net/tanktype.php comparison of glass and acrylic
    20 )www.stii.dost.gov.ph/pjsweb/data/decomposer.htm - 7k
    21 ) http://archive.greenpeace.org/toxics...abase/bad.html
    22 ) http://www.epa.gov/chemfact/f_acrlac.txt
    23 ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymethyl_methacrylate
    24 ) http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5998554.html
    25 ) http://www.npi.gov.au/database/subst...rofiles/6.html
    26 ) http://goalgreen.com/2007/06/25/plas...eps-on-giving/
    27 ) http://www.chemsoc.org/exemplarchem/...head/facts.htm
    28 ) http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resour...s/Plastics.htm
    29 ) www.level.org.nz
    30 ) www.grisb.org/publications/pub33.htm - 24k -
    31 ) http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/publications/
    32 ) GLASS vs. PLASTIC
    33 ) RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES FOR DUKE UNIVERSITY ...
    34)http://www.devicelink.com/mpb/archive/96/01/001.html
    http://www.environmentwriter.org/res...crylicacid.htm
    35 ) Fact Sheets - Glass
    36 ) ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-...df/yrr_feb.pdf
    37 ) Cullet Preheating: The Realistic Solution for All Glass Furnaces ...
    38 ) Professional Environmental Solutions - Atlanta, Georgia
    39 ) Patagonia Under Siege: The Plastic Killing Fields - Pacific Ocean ...
    40 ) Composition and process for the encapsulation and stabilization of ...
    41 ) APPENDIX D - Key Federal Laws and Regulations
    42 ) Mixed-Waste Shipping & Transportation | Radiation Protection | US EPA
    43 ) Low Level Radioactive Waste Information Page
    44 ) DEP: Atlantic Green Sea Turtle Fact Sheet
    45 ) Ulrich Reifenhäuser: Plastics and rubber have changed the world ...
    46 ) Plastic Debris Washed Ashore
    47 ) Bizarre Properties of Glass Revealed | LiveScience
    48 ) Canada Likely to Label Plastic Ingredient ‘Toxic’ - New York Times

    additional resources
    http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/
    http://www.americanplasticscouncil.o...ID=1110&VID=86
    http://www.mindfully.org/Berkeley-Pl...Task-Force.htm
    http://www.designboom.com/eng/educat...recycling.html
    http://americanplasticscouncil.org/s_apc/sec.asp
    http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/glass.htm
  7. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Plastic in the Ocean's Food Chain

    ...and another from him

    Actually what seems to happen is that even though various marine organisms are swimming in a sea of food they starve to death, as they are not designed to differentiate between a plastic fragment or molecule and plankton, so they eat both.

    As of 2002 that would be 10 plastic to 1 plankton

    Also plastic nurdles which resemble copapod's in both color, size and shape are bio-toxin accumulators. That creates a situation were toxins are concentrated in the food chain. Under EPA standards the average polar bears flesh is so heavily saturated with persistent toxins that it falls well into the boundaries of hazardous waist, along with Killer Whales.

    And the FDA has issued a recommendation that inuit woman not breast feed there babies due to the fact they are so heavily contaminated as well although the EPA has been strangely silent over studies concerning human contamination

    Basically, there doesnt seem to be a way to clean it up. I'm afraid the numbers in the slide show were in error...significantly on the low side.
    By some estimates we have dumped 60,000,000,000 tons of plastic into the oceans already. On some beaches ocean debris is 85% plastic on a molecular level. There is literally a snow storm of plastic throughout the worlds oceans.

    Even plastic water bottles are about to have an expiration date as the polycarbonate leaches such high concentrations of toxins into the water with in about six months as to make it hazardous to drink. And Canada is in the process of banning polycarbonate s from food contact, although pvc is the worst one.

    Sorry, I went on and on, but this subject is near and dear to me as I plan to retire to a yacht Ive been planning for years
    'Boston'

    ....and bonna apetit
  8. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    The results of a morning's beach clean at Midway Atoll, 1200 miles NW of Hawaii. The atoll supports the world's largest population of Laysan Albatross, nearly 71% or thereabouts, and cigarette lighters claim the lives of many. This, on a small island far removed from civilization, demonstrates only too well the long-term effect mankind can have on the oceans and their gyre currents.


    Here's a good general news-story that will help explain to those who have difficulty comprehending - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6218698.stm . I think this may be the link Boston is missing in his list

    Attached Files:

  9. vivariva

    vivariva Senior Member

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    Thanks for the peer article Brian. I feel like reading a monthly plastics magazine :). I'm not sure if General Yachting Discussion is appropriate place for this subject, especially since we're in a "Yachting Forum". However I'll try to add helpful info on the health side of this.

    From a consumer standpoint, you could check easily if you're using any packaging that contains risks. Just find the recycling logo with the number written on the material.

    Avoid number 3, number 6 and number 7 (if you can). The best material is number 5 (PP). It is the only material that is used for dairy products. It provides the perfect barrier between outside elements, including sunlight.

    Number 1 PETE, is used for soft drinks. Avoid leaving them in sunlight. The Ultraviolet light from the sun allows the material (PE) to leech into the liquid. That is why a bottle of water tastes so bad when you leave them in the car under the sun.

    The 'new car smell' is actually continuous out gassing by PVC and other materials. The car 'leather' and the vinyl on the dashboard are mostly PVC. You could check your car model for risks here: www.healthycar.org Avoid PVC shower curtains.


    In cosmetics, deodorants and creams contain "Propylene Glycol". This is a penetration enhancer. Avoid it if you can. "Buthylene Glycol" is another. EPA in the US is researching further into these, but I would not recommend using them. They might bring hormonal imbalance into the lymphatic system.

    To summarize, everyone uses cosmetics and plastic packaging at some point during the day. Again, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) has to be sealed against the outside elements. Try to buy water that was produced a short time ago (the materials leech as time goes by) and avoid leaving them in the sun.

    After radioactive materials (10,000 year life) plastic is the second worst polluter. I read somewhere that Cornell Univ. is working on biopolymers.

    Attached Files:

  10. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    plastic ship 'Junk'

    ...courtesy of - latitude / ld


    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is purported to be an enormous — some estimates say twice the size of Texas — raft of, well, junk that's caught in the North Pacific Gyre. Sensational news reports make it sound as if the Patch is dense enough for a person to walk across but that has yet to be proved. What can't be denied is that plastic is a growing problem in the world's oceans that really can no longer be ignored. Several returning Solo TransPac and Pacific Cup boats have reported a disturbing amount of plastic floating around mid-Pacific. "We're seeing some kind of plastic going by every 30 seconds or so," reported Solo TransPac racer Rob Tryon. "About half of it is fishing related — netting, floats, etc. — but the other half is definitely land-based garbage: bottles, toys, baby dolls." Those kind of firsthand accounts really bring home the need to rethink our 'disposable' ways.

    Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal have been 'sailing' Junk across the Pacific to raise awareness of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
    © 2008 Algalita Marine Research Foundation / www.algalita.org

    Attached Files:

  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    A very similar vessel sailed up the east coast of the US back in the early '90's. Unfortunately, not much has changed for the better since then.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Here in South Florida, there are lots of plastic bags that end up in the water. I manage 10 different yachts and it seems like every week (or two), I have to call a diver because there is one in the a/c intake of a yacht.

    I do use plastic bags when shopping, but try my best to recycle them. I also cannot believe how much plastic some things are packaged in that you buy in the store. It's a little thing that is in a giant plastic container that takes a knife to cut through it. Rule super switches (for example) used to come in a little cardboard box and now they come in a thick plastic container thing that is 4 times the size of the bilge pump.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I was perfectly happy using paper bags made out of recycled paper which I would then recycle, but the corporations decided it was more profitable to push us to use plastic bags. Now they want us to PAY for our own filthy bags. NO WAY. Let the corporations cut the plastic packaging. They'll pass the costs on anyway.
  14. toira

    toira Guest

    plastic bags and our water world.

    'The average plastic bag is used for 5 mins, but takes 500 years to decompose.'

    Hi I will call myself Palaemon, since I have to use mom's membership.
    Try some of the following sites for recycled/jute/cotton bags: Anokimobi, reusable bags. Hundreds on the internet.

    This summer in Antibes, I watched many of the stews leave the yachts they were working on to do the provisions.
    Apart from the designer handbag under the arm, not one left with any means of taking their purchases back to their yachts.
    Many left with the sandwich wrapped in tinfoil and a water bottle!!!!!!
    There are recycled bags that fold up so small they even fit in ones little designer bag.
    They would return with numerous plastic bags, what do they do with these and would it not be better for them to have large material reusable bags that could even advertise the yacht on the side of the bag.
    These bags are eco friendly, long life, 100% reusable and cost effective.
    Someone will make a fortune if they offer yachts personalised eco friendly, reusable bags.......
    On the subject of standing behind a stew shopping in a supermarket it is a nightmare and one's head wonders are they trying to kill the entire world with their cases of bleach, toilet duck, airfreshners, zillion plastic water bottles, cling film, tin foil, plastic bottles of laundry softener, fabric sheets freshner etc, etc (is this all dumped in our oceans) and then when they have at least a ten person line behind them, blocked every exit with their cases of wine bottles, water, cases of canned liquids etc, etc they produce more plastic to pay and that takes another ten minutes to authorise.
    By this time there are 20 people waiting to be served behind them and ready to hit them with their straw/cotton can be used again shopping bags. The cashier is about to have a heart attack.
    Have they finished, no they have forgotten twenty rolls of cling film and ten packets of pretzels, so they have to run back to get them to.
    Then they want an itemised rec.
    I forgot to mention the deckhand who through the entire time the stew has shopped has chain smoked in the entrance/exit door leaning on the shopping trolleys blocking entrance/exit...
    Why do yachts not use more delivery companies who do not use plastic?
    Let them see the swan with the coke can wrapped around its beak or the dolphin with no tail.
    Someone out there who taps into recycled yacht provisioning is going to make a fortune.......
    Why do they shop in such an old fashioned, uneco friendly fashion????????????
    Maybe one of you guys could make a fortune, eco friendly yacht provisions.
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Truely I think the answer is that it just wasn't thought through. As I'm reading Palaemon's post I'm thinking that I've held up that line, and with good reason...We're shopping for 10 people for 2 or 3 weeks. Also, since I live on shore with 3 dogs and a cat I reuse those plastic bags as poop bags. Then it struck me (just before I read Palaemon's words).... These stores would be happy to deliver orders like this. Even a delivery charge wouldn't amount to what it cost the crew to go by car service to the store. And think of the extra time it would give the crew for enjoying shore time or catching up on their tasks.
    As for the water bottle and sandwich wrap, if we can carry it out full there is no reason we can't carry the empty back (a lesson I plan to teach the fellow who keeps leaving his empty fast food stuff on my curb when I catch him).
  16. toira

    toira Guest

    Well done Nycap you got my point about dumping trash on land, can you imagine what the stew would have said if I had gone up and covered the deck in sticky coke and left the wrapper from my sandwich were the yacht was docked.
    I told you guys I am a future capt that will be up on time and man management, saving the owners several dollars.
    Then again I watched lovely, unwrapped delivered provisions being delivered to a yacht and it seemed the whole crew decided to drop tools and everything they were doing to cart the shopping in.
    Was it a case of while the cats away the mice will do as they please or are they so bored and understimulated a food delivery is exciting.
    I am sure the chef and female stews could have dealt with the provisions delivery.
    (The music that was blaring out of this megayacht was enough to wilt the lettuce.)
    We eat to live, sorry all you yacht chefs but food is something you grab between all the far more important tasks of maintaining, running and sailing a yacht.
    Anyone interested several charities through out the world take clean empty cans, bottles and revert them to cash.
    There are companies who also recycle packets.
    There is even companies who recycle chips (crisps) packets and recycle them into handbags.
    Cash could go back into the environment, wildlife, coast guard, RNLI, recycling projects etc donated by the owner of yacht and his crew.....

    Palaemon
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    As far as dropping what you're doing to bring in the provisions, yes it is a break from your normal (maybe boring) duties, but you also want to get them on board before they spoil or the seagulls steal them.
    At a marina I used to run we set up recycle bins for cans and I've seen them in a few others. I'm sure it would only take a mention or two to get any marina to set out an extra can though. So, pass the word. One thing that may slow others from doing it is the slobs who dump their garbage in them. Courtesy folks. Somebody then has to seperate that.
    As for dumping garbage at sea, there is no excuse for it. For the short time out it can be compacted and frozen (if no other secure storage is available) thereby eliminating any smells or vermin.
  18. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Garbage Soup: Secrets Spewed Up by the Trash Vortex

    Discovered by a sailor in 1997, the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' or 'trash vortex' that floats around in oceanic gyres is now of great interest to scientists, biologists, weather forecasters and marine researchers for the information it reveals about ocean currents.

    There is a soup of waste – humanity’s flotsam and debris – literally clogging the Pacific Ocean. Experts say it’s growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the USA. This floating rubbish dump stretches from Hawaii almost to Japan and is held in place by swirling underwater currents.

    Charles Moore, an American oceanographer who discovered the phenomenon and coined the phrases 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' or 'trash vortex', believes that about 100 million tons of flotsam are circulating in the region.

    Marcus Eriksen, a research director of the US-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which Moore founded, describes it as 'a plastic soup'.

    'It moves around and when it comes close to land, as it does at the Hawaiian archipelago, the results are dramatic. The garbage patch barfs, and you get a beach covered with this confetti of plastic.'

    About one-fifth of the stuff is thrown off ships or oil platforms. The rest has been discarded from the land.

    Moore, a former sailor, first encountered the rubbish in 1997, while taking a short cut home from a Los Angeles to Hawaii yacht race. He had steered his craft into the 'North Pacific gyre', a vortex where the ocean circulates slowly because of little wind and extreme high pressure systems.

    Gobsmacked by its magnitude, Moore, the heir to a family fortune from the oil industry, was inspired to sell his business interests and become an environmental activist. These days he warns people that unless consumers cut back on their use of disposable plastics, the plastic stew will double in size over the next decade.

    In the past, rubbish that ended up in oceanic gyres has biodegraded. But modern plastics are so durable that objects half-a-century old have been found in the north Pacific dump.

    Moore said that because the sea of rubbish is translucent and lies just below the water's surface, it is not detectable in satellite photographs. 'You only see it from the bows of ships,' he said.

    Worldwide, about 10,000 cargo containers fall overboard each year. In most parts of the world, the dispersal of flotsam isn't of major interest to researchers. But along the busy trade routes that link eastern Asia to North America, the random rubbish and containers that drop off ships are showing scientists precisely how the Pacific Subarctic Gyre works.

    Despite thousands of scientific instruments dotted around our oceans, when it comes to measuring surface currents, scientists have been limited by their equipment. Satellite-monitored probes called Argo floats drift through the ocean at depths of about 2 kilometers. Every 10 days or so, they pop up to measure the overlying water's temperature and salinity.

    However, the direction and speed of deep currents, where these high-tech probes spend most of their time, don't necessarily match those of currents in the top few metres or centimeters of ocean. The path of an Argo float provides little information about surface currents.

    Then there are probes specifically designed to ride surface currents. These face their own problems. Their sensors can quickly become obstructed by algae, barnacles, and other organisms that thrive in the sunlit section of the ocean.
    On top of all that, probes use batteries that fail within months, only allowing them to travel a small fraction of the path around the gyre.

    Now, to map the currents and clock their speeds, scientists are harnessing the power of floating junk. For the first time, scientists can estimate that a lap around the Pacific Subarctic Gyre takes approximately three years. From that and other studies of the circulating trash, researchers have noticed long-term variations in water temperature and salinity in the North Pacific that hadn't been observed previously.

    Research aside, the consequences of this massive bundle of plastic debris are negative. Plastic is believed to constitute 90 per cent of all rubbish floating in the oceans. The UN Environment Program estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. The group states that plastic waste causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.

    And not all plastic floats. Around 70 per cent of the junk sinks to the bottom, stifling the sea bed, killing organisms and messing with the food chain. In fact around 70 percent of discarded plastic sinks to the bottom. Dutch scientists have counted around 110 pieces of litter for every square kilometre of the seabed, a staggering 600,000 tonnes in the North Sea alone.

    Our plastic waste poses a risk to our health too. What goes into the ocean goes into the food chain and eventually onto your dinner plate. Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, known as 'nurdles' - the raw materials for the plastic industry - are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea. These pollutants act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT.

    The North Pacific gyre is one of five major ocean gyres and it is possible that this Trash Vortex problem is one which is present in other oceans as well. The Sargasso Sea is a well known slow circulation area in the Atlantic, and research there has also demonstrated high concentrations of plastic particles present in the water.

    Greenpeace warns that floating plastics can also affect marine ecosystems in yet another way: by providing a ready surface for organisms to live on. These plants and animals are then transported far outside their normal habitat to invade new habitats and become potential nuisance species.

    ('There have been pieces of plastic washed and dredged up that are more than 50 years old.')

    More at www.greenpeace.org

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  19. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    Palm Beach, FL
    Midway atoll before the land was cleared to create a airstrip/base/waystation supported less than 200 thousand pairs of breeding sea birds. After clearing it's closer to two million. Should we change the island back to what it was like before man arrived? I lived on Midway for over a year. I'd be very careful of any "news" or "facts" that came from there- the "scientists" that work on the island clearly have/had an agenda and from my view it was to get more funding and continue to live there. This was paramount to those "scientists". You cannot compare Midway to every other island or ANY island elsewhere. No other place in the world accumulates as much man made articles due to ocean currents, but most readers will conclude other places will also get this same amount of trash. Plastic bags are not nice to the oceans- but what are average shoppers to do? Put store bought produce in cloth bags? Are you gonna carry them around in your car? Put automotive purchases in it also? Clothes purchases? Keep one set of bags for grocery and another set for "dirty" non grocery and yet a third for "clean" non grocery? While I am not in favor of more plastic on the ocean, landfill or as blowing around on land, it seems when people set their sites on one thing the balance they should have to clearly see the effects they espouse tend to go out the window. Don't get mad at me for pointing these things out... I certainly do not have a interest in plastic bag companies or seeing more plastic in the ocean.
  20. VikHatBer

    VikHatBer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Miami, FL and the Keys
    I go out of my way to fish every plastic bag that I see out of the water. I also throw my beer bottle caps into the ocean because they sink to the bottom and are completely irrelevent. It is a shame that ocean trash is not as biodegradable or nostalgic as the old rum bottles, cannons, and old sailing ship ruins that dot our oceans, reefs, and beaches.