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Old 18-05-2012, 09:19   #31
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Originally Posted by Capt Wraun
Too much of a challenge to clean up? What a cop out. Humans are always going on about how they've put men on the moon, built the biggest this and the longest that. Not to mention that we've nearly emptied the oceans of many species of fish and mammals and they're constantly trying to repopulate whilst we're trying to exterminate them!!!
I totally agree. With the different densities of the plastic and marine life it would be relatively easy to use existing tech to sort this out. We and the Japanese have giant kelp harvesting ships that could be converted that should be easily able to sort and process huge amounts of water with minimal damage to marine life. Hell lets convert those giant fish factory mother ships...save on fuel by designing vessels that could stay out for months...

...we have giant corn combines that are fully automated, could we apply that principal? How about utilising nuclear power like in military vessels to enable to processing to last years? Incorporate the plastic to oil process and sort the vessels so that a medium size oil tanker can approach and take the crude off so the processing vessel stays in the patch...

...we humans are amazingly creative and if there were the right incentives and pressures this, like many problems would be solved.

...But being humans we tend to be reactive versus proactive so it will likely be after the horses have bolted before we shut the barn doors
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Old 18-05-2012, 09:22   #32
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NOAA is not the party responsible for cleaning up the worlds oceans. There is no responsible party.

Given that, wouldn't it make sense for privately funded environmental organizations to put together a fleet of ships to clean up the mess? Perhaps some of the world's billionaires and Hollywood elites could fund this? But keep in mind that ships that can carry tons of plastic also burn tons of fuel.

Or just wait until it blows ashore and let Earth Day beach cleanup crews do the dirty work.
That's the problem, it doesn't blow ashore. It is ground into finer and finer particles and a majority are turned into micro plastics that act like a liquid suspension and being consumed by wildlife
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Old 18-05-2012, 10:13   #33
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Re: pacific garbage dump

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Originally Posted by I.Grind View Post
It's my understanding that the average size of the plastic pieces, is the size of a fingernail. Thats going to be very hard to collect. I believe the plastic will also be very brittle, further complicating things.
I dont see anything that complicated. It's like whale baleen.. The ship scoops up water and debris, a netting fillter lets the water back out on board, when loaded the net pivots over and drops the debris load in a hopper.... it aint putting a man on the moon.... yes like a big pea or corn combine!
I too try to buy without plastic. It's hard though. Hard to buy a 35 cent fitting without buying a double bubble plastic wrap! I prefer the old hardware stores that still have bins of stuff instead of rows of bubble wrapped packages....
Simply put, a federal law requiring that the packaging cannot be more than 5% of the item value would lower the demand and price of crude oil a lot!
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Old 18-05-2012, 10:22   #34
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I dont see anything that complicated. It's like whale baleen.. The ship scoops up water and debris, a netting fillter lets the water back out on board, when loaded the net pivots over and drops the debris load in a hopper.... it aint putting a man on the moon.... yes like a big pea or corn combine!
I too try to buy without plastic. It's hard though. Hard to buy a 35 cent fitting without buying a double bubble plastic wrap! I prefer the old hardware stores that still have bins of stuff instead of rows of bubble wrapped packages....
Agree. Amazing the looks I get when I say, "no bag thanks" when I check out with only a couple of items I carry in my hand. Plastic is a disease that the marketers force on us. There is no need for plastic packages except to make thing "sexier".

You should see the looks I got in the states at the cash register when I would put fruit and veg on the little conveyor belt with no plastic bags...priceless...one cheeky worker told me it was harder for her to weigh the carrots cause they were unbagged, I delightfully told her to "suck it". The admiral was less than impressed but still had a word with her on the way out...
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Old 18-05-2012, 10:31   #35
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Re: pacific garbage dump

You should see the looks I got in the states at the cash register when I would put fruit and veg on the little conveyor belt with no plastic bags...priceless Yeah... me too, I dont need a damn bag for every yam I buy! 3 oranges do just fine without a bag, hell they put everything in a bag after it has it's own bag....
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Old 18-05-2012, 10:55   #36
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Re: pacific garbage dump

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I dont see anything that complicated. It's like whale baleen.. The ship scoops up water and debris, a netting fillter lets the water back out on board, when loaded the net pivots over and drops the debris load in a hopper.... it aint putting a man on the moon.... yes like a big pea or corn combine!
Did you take a look at my recent posting on the nature of this plastic debris you envision just scooping up? (Pacific Garbage Dump).

If you think I'm just trying to ignore the serious problem of marine pollution, I'm not. It's just that I've sailed many days and many thousands of miles in the NEPAC Gyre, and I know what the conditions are like. In my opinion, the way to stop this is at the source.
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Old 18-05-2012, 12:56   #37
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Re: pacific garbage dump

Whilst i agree with the 5% (or whatever) packaging requirement - not sure if I agree with it being a law.

In any event I appear to be on the opposite side of the fence on the plastic bag thing! - A couple of shops I no longer do business in simply because they either supply bags thinner than a condom - or because they make you ask, and then pretend they are doing me a favour (even when charging for them! - which i don't actually mind, they were never "free" anyway).

FFS do I look like I have 27 pockets or hands? and even if I could stuff my purchases into a pocket or 2, why would I want to? . Of course I could walk around with some shopping bags just in case I want to buy something - but I don't want to. So I don't.

At a supermarket I wait until they ask if I want a bag, and if that is after they have scanned all the items - then I am in no hurry (bagging up over here is a hit and miss affair ). To be fair, most of 'em know me by now .....but usually a new one to train now and again .


But I do respect those whose principles do involve them losing business or simply making there business less effecient / less profitable .

What I don't understand is why folks like Greenpeace are not out in the Pacific collecting this plastic - either to recycle and make some money, to make a point - or simply to help the environment. But I guess that involves doing work themselves and putting hand in own pockets rather than simply whining on and putting hands out.

Seems strange that Greenpeace isn't a 100 billion dollar organisation - you would have thought by now they would have cornered the market in alternative energy - given that it sustainable, profitable, with consumers crying out for the warm fuzzy feeling also provided.....even without putting a finger in the electric socket .

Me is working on a sustainable energy machine - it will be powered by burning Penguins. Live ones .
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Old 18-05-2012, 13:31   #38
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Re: pacific garbage dump

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
In my opinion, the way to stop this is at the source.
To this point, it doesn't matter how easy it might be to scoop it up, it doesn't matter if there would be any unintended consequences of that or not, if you DON'T stop it at the source then all you're doing is putting a band-aid on a gushing artery. First you've got to stop the bleeding!
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Old 18-05-2012, 14:28   #39
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Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
That's the problem, it doesn't blow ashore. It is ground into finer and finer particles and a majority are turned into micro plastics that act like a liquid suspension and being consumed by wildlife
If it does not blow ashore, then why do I see so much plastic on the beaches? Anything with positive buoyancy is going to be slightly sticking out of the water and therefore is going to be affected by the wind. The same applies to an iceberg. Icebergs have windage as well. Right?

It can't be that all of it is neutral buoyancy and would drift randomly in the water column, although I would image a small amount might be neutrally buoyant and moves up and down in the water column with vertical currents...right?

And of course anything with negative buoyancy would sink to the bottom...right?

I'm not arguing....just trying to understand.
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Old 18-05-2012, 16:22   #40
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Originally Posted by David M

If it does not blow ashore, then why do I see so much plastic on the beaches? Anything with positive buoyancy is going to be slightly sticking out of the water and therefore is going to be affected by the wind. The same applies to an iceberg. Icebergs have windage as well. Right?

It can't be that all of it is neutral buoyancy and would drift randomly in the water column, although I would image a small amount might be neutrally buoyant and moves up and down in the water column with vertical currents...right?

And of course anything with negative buoyancy would sink to the bottom...right?

I'm not arguing....just trying to understand.
What floats ashore is what hasnt been sucked into the gyre. And yes much
blows ashore but a majority of what is in the gyre is kept there by current and wind and slowly broken down into ever smaller particles of plastic. A recent study was done that estimates there may be as much a 7x as much plastic there as thought priviously.

Once the plastic has broken down into small enough particles it acts like material in a suspension versus just sitting on top of the water and small particles can exist meters deep.

Im not am expert on this topic by any stretch but there is a huge amount of info online about how it works and what is going on for those who are interested in the details and some links were posted earlier in the thread
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Old 18-05-2012, 17:29   #41
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Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Just curious... do those hugh barges full of trash still head down the Hudson River from New York City out to sea and dump their cargo in to the ocean? Capt Phil
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Old 18-05-2012, 21:20   #42
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Originally Posted by foolishsailor

...With the different densities of the plastic and marine life it would be relatively easy to use existing tech to sort this out. We and the Japanese have giant kelp harvesting ships that could be converted that should be easily able to sort and process huge amounts of water with minimal damage to marine life. Hell lets convert those giant fish factory mother ships...save on fuel by designing vessels that could stay out for months...

...we have giant corn combines that are fully automated, could we apply that principal? How about utilising nuclear power like in military vessels to enable to processing to last years? Incorporate the plastic to oil process and sort the vessels so that a medium size oil tanker can approach and take the crude off so the processing vessel stays in the patch...

...we humans are amazingly creative and if there were the right incentives and pressures this, like many problems would be solved.

These are amazing ideas! We definitely are very creative and are capable of finding a solution. We need to push those in office to get off their $$ they get from lobbyists. Countries are always fighting to "own" a place before anyone else-maybe we just have to spread a rumor that someone else wants to claim it for their country. They'll all be racing to it. Maybe a way offshore casino or a new Dubai?

I agree with the posts- no plastic bags. I use canvas- it is stronger & washable. I also have small mesh bags for veggies & fruit so I don't use the plastic ones. They keep them fresher since they can breathe.

Greenpeace have their own deal. I did find a couple groups on the net for plastics in the ocean. Links attached.

We're outside LA so have bags & junk that wash up on beaches & into the marina from storm drains that flush out the trash from inland after a rain We have a local high school group that cleans the drains out-and it's amazing how much less washes out. A bottom cleaner company cleans underwater in the marina beach area once a month. Another group does beach (land side) clean up. I guess it doesn't take big acts to make a difference-it tacked many smaller acts.

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_19642509

http://www.projectkaisei.org/index.aspx

ps. Foolishsailor- I like the new photo.
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Old 18-05-2012, 21:50   #43
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Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

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I totally agree. With the different densities of the plastic and marine life it would be relatively easy to use existing tech to sort this out. We and the Japanese have giant kelp harvesting ships that could be converted that should be easily able to sort and process huge amounts of water with minimal damage to marine life.
Am I the only one here who is completely boggled by the concept that it would be easy to collect the plastic without causing great harm to the marine life??? For a start, take a look at some of the most plentiful species out in the vicinity of the gyre:


Velella velella (By the Wind Sailor)




I have no idea what this is called, it's about the size of an orange

These are incredibly plentiful, and we sail through areas where the Velella cover the entire visual horizon, at a density of one per square meter. These things look like plastic, and have a similar density. Big ones are about six inches across, and small ones are less than an inch. These (and other jellyfish-like creatures) provide food for sea turtles, sunfish, and no doubt other creatures.

If you try to harvest the semi-submerged plastic, you will harvest and kill these living creatures. It's not just the jellys -- consider the plankton and similar lifeforms, many of which are the same size and density as the plastics you would be scooping up.

I'm all for people trying to devise clever methods to clean the plastic out of the sea, but the concepts that I've seen so far appear to be based on a complete misunderstanding of the problem. The only positive thing I can say about them is that they would likely break down long before they had a chance to do much harm.

Look, there are places where cleanup efforts can make a difference. As for the "garbage patch" (and this is hardly a fixed location or specific area), the only practical solution is to stop the trash at the source.

I've said the same thing several times now, and if I haven't made my point by now I guess I never will.
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Old 18-05-2012, 22:10   #44
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Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

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.................. the only practical solution is to stop the trash at the source.
Yeah! No more tsunami's. But what about the Atlantic? Doesn't it have a garbage patch.
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Old 18-05-2012, 22:10   #45
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Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Plain ole common sence tells that this mess needs something done about it !! But it's gonna take some un-common sence to figure out a way to DO this HUGE Task !! Until some one comes up with a REAL way to remove this plastic wasteland from the sea, all we are doing is venting our pain at not being able to do ANYTNING to CURE the problem! Most all of us get great pleasure from the Oceans we sail, and to see the trash thats floating ALL over the worlds oceans gives us great pain, but some of it we can remove ourselfs or at least a small amount of it by picking it up and takeing it to a proper place to dump it ! But this stuff is a whole bunch different!! and it's gonna take some smart folks to find a cure !! Just my 2 cents
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