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Engineering Materials

Report: Plastics Associations Make Progress on Ocean Cleanup

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Elizabeth M
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A good start
Elizabeth M   2/22/2013 5:49:43 AM
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Ann, I can't thank you enough for reporting on this. It is a subject very close to my heart and I have been working locally with friends here (particularly one clean-ocean, anti-plastic waste advocate friend) to try to clean up the beaches and the ocean. This is a good start but there is still a LONG WAY to go...and as single-use plastic is still being used and tossed away...and there is already so much plastic waste out there...it seems almost like an insurmountable problem. But efforts like this and design efforts to replace plastic with more organic materials are on the right track. I look forward to seeing more real progress from these efforts. And sometimes just educating people helps, because I really don't think people even know the impact plastic has had on the marine world. But they are learning.

a.saji
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Re: A good start
a.saji   2/22/2013 10:25:58 AM
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@Elizabeth:

Its very encouraging to see such social work has been started but it should remain that way for a longer period. Here in my country too you get certain voluntarily acts but they only last for couple of days.

TJ McDermott
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Re: A good start
TJ McDermott   2/22/2013 11:12:39 AM
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Elizabeth, does this stagnation zone lie on shipping lanes?  If it does, then a very small tax incentive to maritime companies would be incentive for them to collect some of the trash as they pass through.  If the trash-to-fuel technology is modular enough, then maritime companies could use this to fuel auxiliary generators and cut operating costs.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A good start
Ann R. Thryft   2/22/2013 11:35:35 AM
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Thanks, Elizabeth. I thought it was important to report that the often-maligned plastics industry is in fact trying to do something about the problem. One of the first things to do when approaching a huge complex problem is measure and classify--those are the two things done at the birth of a field of study, for example. Anyway, this is initial research, but it goes beyond that to specific action.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A good start
Ann R. Thryft   2/22/2013 11:36:22 AM
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a.saji, I'm sorry to hear that in your country efforts to improve the environment are so evanescent. The desire to solve the plastics pollution problem is pretty strong in Europe and the US, as well as the other countries involved in this study. Let's hope that yours gets involved, as well.



Dave Palmer
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Re: A good start
Dave Palmer   2/22/2013 2:05:50 PM
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Anyone who is interested in the problem of plastic waste in the ocean should read Moby Duck, by Donovan Hohn.  It's a great read, and covers many different aspects of the problem in an entertaining way.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A good start
Ann R. Thryft   2/22/2013 4:23:41 PM
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TJ, were you directing your comment to Elizabeth, or to me (I wrote the story)? And what do you mean by a "stagnation zone"?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A good start
Ann R. Thryft   2/22/2013 4:28:39 PM
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TJ, were you directing your comment to Elizabeth, or to me (I wrote the story)? And what do you mean by a "stagnation zone"?

NadineJ
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Re: A good start
NadineJ   2/22/2013 5:56:21 PM
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Maybe he's referring to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  It's twice the size of Texas.  20% of the plastics there come from marine sources.

Because it's within an ocean gyre (rotating current), it stays still or stagnant. 

It's horrific.

TJ McDermott
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Re: A good start
TJ McDermott   2/22/2013 9:47:10 PM
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Ann, please excuse me - my mistake, my comments were directed to you.

And yes, I'm talking about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  NadineJ's comment describes it accurately.

 

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