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Old 07-04-2014, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,192 posts, read 47,521,812 times
Reputation: 19702

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From water bottles to the microbeads in our face wash, we send millions of tons of plastic into the ocean every year. Not only does it amount to $13 billion in damages to the environment, but it costs the lives of the marine animals that end up choking on our garbage. A new study has found even grimmer news: About 99 percent of the oceanís plastic is missing, and thereís a chance that a large amount is ending up on our dinner plates.

About 99 Percent of the Ocean
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:33 PM
MJ7
 
6,221 posts, read 8,604,986 times
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I agree 100%. A team of researchers from Yale have discovered a fungi in the Amazon that actually digests plastic, however, I'm not sure what the that fungi's waste product is from consuming it. If the fungi is able to produce something healthy to the environment (something other forms of fungi or bacteria can digest) I think we really need to start using this fungi in the waste system. Alternatively, use less plastic. It's really hard not to purchase anything these days without plastic.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:44 PM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,944,137 times
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The fungi that digests plastic could be a good thing or a bad thing. Some plastics we like to hope last for a very long time. For example, most of the plumbing in my house is plastic (PVC or CVPC) - a lot of car parts are too. I could go on and on with things, but I think you get the point.

I had heard about the micro-beads like those in hand cleaner ending up in fish - kinda scary to think that all plastic ends up in seafood as well.

Now the tough part - if we were to stop using plastic what would we use instead? I just spent three days and two nights in the hospital. The most common material in the place is plastic. Everything is coating in it or used as a sterile instrument. (IV lines, blood draw kits, oxygen lines, bedding, etc...) My meals were more disposable plastic than "food". At least when I got to a room the tray and the cover that keeps the food warm are reused. In the ER the tray and everything with it got thrown out. Even cold stuff was put in a plastic box with a plastic lid.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:47 PM
 
766 posts, read 1,154,040 times
Reputation: 1415
Go to Amazon books..... Plastic, A toxic love story!

It's about the history of plastic. I know... I know... sounds boring, uh? But the author really did a brilliant job of making the book a fantastic read!

I strongly encourage you all to read this book.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:27 PM
509
 
2,906 posts, read 4,048,504 times
Reputation: 3423
Plastic is bad enough....but walking the beaches around San Francisco Bay I was stunned at the amount of medical waste including needles on the beaches.

Really.....medical waste throw it into the ocean!!!
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:27 PM
MJ7
 
6,221 posts, read 8,604,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springazure View Post
Go to Amazon books..... Plastic, A toxic love story!

It's about the history of plastic. I know... I know... sounds boring, uh? But the author really did a brilliant job of making the book a fantastic read!

I strongly encourage you all to read this book.
I'll check it out, might be interesting like the history of olive oil and the history of salt.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,545,426 times
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The core issue in all of this is not to stop using plastics, but to keep plastics out of the oceans.

IOW, this is primarily a waste management issue. We can't continue to expect that throwing our garbage into the sea makes it go away. It merely redistributes it. And every closed ssystem has a saturation point.

Like other key environmental issues of the day, such as the rising CO2 level in the atmosphere, we simply have to get on top of this before it becomes irreversible. If we lose the oceans as a food source, widespread suffering and death will occur.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:12 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,378,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
Plastic is bad enough....but walking the beaches around San Francisco Bay I was stunned at the amount of medical waste including needles on the beaches.

Really.....medical waste throw it into the ocean!!!
Have you examined the waste to find out where it originated from or are you just complaining?

Did you take pictures and report it to the local health authorities?

Did you contact any of the San Francisco environmental groups?

http://sanfrancisco.about.com/od/sfe...tal_Groups.htm
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,708 posts, read 4,127,267 times
Reputation: 15327
Although inconvenient, there are many plastic things in our lives that we could live without. Consumers want them and manufacturers get rich on them, so what's the answer? Until this earth is dead, I doubt there will be an end to plastics. No one is willing (as a group living on this planet) to give it up.

Shopping bags were paper... ever seen the plastic bags flying around a landfill sight? Sickening.
I ONLY use recycled bags. They only cost a buck or two, are very strong so you can fill them to the top, and they last for years. I wash them out each month and re-use them. Some are 8 years old and as strong as the day I bought them. I keep one specifically for meat that I am very careful to sanitize afterwards. My PET PEEVE: I can't stand seeing people in grocery stores that don't bring their own recycle bags. Why? laziness? can't be bothered tossing them in the car?

Milk used to come in glass bottles that were steralized and re-used.
Drinking water? people actually used to pour themselves a drink from their kitchen tap (oh MY!)
Diapers, cloth and reusable plastic pants
the list goes on and on...
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
5,864 posts, read 6,286,749 times
Reputation: 12431
Stupidity and laziness are the root causes, climate deniers, litterbugs, socially irresponsible corporations, etc. people toss their empty water bottles out of the windows of their SUVs without giving it a second thought. Bottled water has to be the worst thing to come along in years.

Recently during a heavy rainstorm there were homes in Covington Kentucky that were flooded, this was caused by massive amounts of plastic bottles and other garbage clogging the storm sewers. There must have been tons of plastic that made it into the Ohio River and eventually into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

Some states charge deposits on cans and bottles, probably would be good for the rest of the world to follow that example.
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