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Old 20-09-2016, 12:34   #31
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
The best numbers I have seen (from NatGeo, NOAA, and a private foundation) indicate that the majority of the plastic found in the Pacific is <1mm in size. With concentrations of about 2 million pieces per mile^2. bit I honestly have no scale by which to measure that, it's meaningless to me since I have no frame of reference.
Two million 1mm pieces laid side by side in a rectangular grid could be two meters long and one meter wide and one mm deep. If they were stacked ten high (less than half an inch thick), the size would be 0.2m long (about eight inches) and 0.1m wide (about four inches). Double the stack thickness and the one inch thick stack would be four inches long and two inches wide...about the size of a cigarette pack.

That doesn't describe the effects of the plastic being there, but it does provide some perspective...pretty small amount for a square mile area in what is reported to be the area with the highest density of plastic litter.

Cleaning up the littoral would seem to be a better plan that cleaning up the gyre based on the photos posted here and what I've seen in my travels. The litter is more highly concentrated there, and closer to where we live, and if cleaned up there, it can't get to the gyre to decompose.
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Old 20-09-2016, 12:36   #32
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

For a cruiser's viewpoint to the garbage patch, Lealea has lots of videos about the garbage in Youtube.

One viewpoint to the effects is available in this Youtube video: .
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Old 20-09-2016, 13:07   #33
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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For a cruiser's viewpoint to the garbage patch, Lealea has lots of videos about the garbage in Youtube.

One viewpoint to the effects is available in this Youtube video: .
Thanks for the video, a good graphic representation of the problem on one small N Pacific Island.

YouTube/Google in their infinite wisdom, thought I might be interested in this video too:

https://youtu.be/4PiNaJjAX8A

One of the issues highlighted in the second video is abandoned fishing nets. Before the advent of plastic nets, natural fibers were used and the floats were glass balls. When they broke loose, eventually the glass would break up on the beach and the rope decomposed, unless they ended up in kitschy tropical themed bar or in homes, like the ones in my living room.
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Old 20-09-2016, 13:24   #34
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

While it is undoubtably true some folks miss represent or hype that does not mean the problem is not serious.

Not defending the hype BS.

But let's recognizenit for what it is and ignore it.

But then let us also look at the real and solid info and recognize it as just that, real and solid info.

Is there ANYONE here who advocates polluting our environment senselessly? Does anyone here think we can afford to continue?
Especially if a 7.5 billion were raised to our standard of living?
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Old 20-09-2016, 14:23   #35
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

There is, no question, too much human stuff in the oceans. But, in my very humble opinion, things are slowly improving despite the increasing number of people and amount of disposable stuff. How long correction will take, if it ever occurs, is an unknown. Seems to me the biggest problem right now is what we take out of the oceans for food, not what we put into it. We are depleting ocean fishing resources almost blindly.
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Old 20-09-2016, 14:36   #36
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Please excuse My ignorance. But where does all this trash come from? I know a lot of folks do not care, and dump their trash. But it has to be a whole sale issue!!
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Old 20-09-2016, 14:39   #37
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Plastic products break down over time and eventually become part of the food chain for marine life.This process can take years but the known effect to marine life is not fully known but for humans there are effects. Plastics contain various polymers and some carcenogenic elements plus petrochemical elements. The effect is evident in numerous ways alterations in cell formation,hormone displacement plus and minus points.
Overall plastic in the oceans is both an eyesore and will overtime poison marine life and eventually do significant harm to humans. Maybe ironic we treat the oceans as a garbage dump which will eventually pay us back for our insidious production of waste disposal.
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Old 20-09-2016, 14:50   #38
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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Please excuse My ignorance. But where does all this trash come from? I know a lot of folks do not care, and dump their trash. But it has to be a whole sale issue!!
There are a lot of sources. Some small part is just accidental. We've all had a plastic bag get away from us when the wind catches it. Some of it is just the result of not thinking things through, like helium filled mylar balloons, what do you think happens to them when they get released? Some of it is intentional, just careless dumping of trash. Some of it can be innocent, like a kid tossing something in the water to see if it floats.

There is no single point of this kind of pollution, which makes assigning blame pointless (pun intended) and makes all of us a bit responsible.

If there is any value to the photos and outrageous statements associated with those photos, it is that it caused a some of us to think about the problems and hopefully learn about it.

Sweeping the ocean to collect all the plastic is a charlatans dream. But reducing our use of plastic, being careful with the plastic trash we generate, and picking up the trash all work to ameliorate the problem and is something that all of us can do.

I won't claim to be perfect, but I try to avoid plastic shopping bags, seldom use single use plastic containers, and avoid the use of plastic wrap. Will the world notice? Probably not, but if 1 out 3 American's followed suite, the world just might notice and the oceans and beaches might become a little bit cleaner.

It is unlikely that there will be a "moon shot" solution, it will simply take all us working to reduce the problem.
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Old 20-09-2016, 15:16   #39
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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Please excuse My ignorance. But where does all this trash come from? I know a lot of folks do not care, and dump their trash. But it has to be a whole sale issue!!
From people. Perhaps not all st sea, but some is. We (as cruisers, including Navies) dump trash (hopefully weighted and released in containers into deep canyons) but it is still trash, garbage, toilet stuff, paper, plastic, metal, and who knows what else. If the stuff reportedly in the water near Manila (see photos from earlier posts) is not removed to landfills it in the ocean. Some decomposes quickly, and perhaps some very slowly or not at all.

The point of most of the responses was that the Pacific Garbage (or Plastic) Patch does not actually exist despite the claims by the sky-is-falling environmentalists. Still, I like to think virtually all of of us hate to see the oceans mucked up by crap, particularly plastics that hang around for a long, long time, even if it is in teensy-tiny bits.
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Old 20-09-2016, 15:23   #40
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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Please excuse My ignorance. But where does all this trash come from? I know a lot of folks do not care, and dump their trash. But it has to be a whole sale issue!!
Most are from land. An example? Throughout east Asia with the exception of Japan, Korea and northern Taiwan, people routinely litter or use storm drains as their personal waste removal system.

When there's precipitation you see the storm runoff carry garbage out to sea. Oceanographers can plot where garbage flows, if you backtrack it it's pretty obvious where it originates.
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Old 20-09-2016, 16:06   #41
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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Most are from land. An example? Throughout east Asia with the exception of Japan, Korea and northern Taiwan, people routinely litter or use storm drains as their personal waste removal system.

When there's precipitation you see the storm runoff carry garbage out to sea. Oceanographers can plot where garbage flows, if you backtrack it it's pretty obvious where it originates.
When discussions of controversial topics occur, it is important to know both the facts and pitfalls of a reasonable and logical discussion about those facts.

Please consider my comments as an amplification of SV Destiny's comments, not as a criticism.

That 3rd world nations are less concerned about pollution of any sort than 1st world nations goes without dispute. It is difficult to worry about the environment when you are more worried about filling your stomach. And don't forget, out of sight, out of mind.

What concerns me is that it is a short trip from "those other people are the bigger cause of the problem" to "I don't need to do anything because my contribution pales in comparison to their contribution."

If every US resident lost only 1 plastic bag to the sea that would be over 300 million plastic bags floating around gradually decomposing and waiting to wrap around our props. That is a lot of plastic floating around that doesn't need to be there.

It was not so long ago that NY City took its trash out to sea and dumped it.

When I was a kid going to a Long Island (near NY City) beach coming home meant cleaning our feet and legs with gasoline to remove the bunker fuel dumped by freighters waiting to enter NYC harbors.

Those of us who live in the 1st world have a duty to raise the standards and be concerned about the long term effects of our pollution. We have the knowledge and we have the means.
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Old 20-09-2016, 16:14   #42
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

No disagreement with above. I don't mean to minimize first world pollution, just an example I recall personally seeing. The South China Sea has great trade wind sailing, awful marine damage. In one week, we fouled the prob/rudder twice with abandoned nets.
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Old 20-09-2016, 17:34   #43
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Its a shame what We are doing to the Open Seas. Growing up on galveston Bay I remember a lot of styrofoam washing up on Snake Island, and the Galveston beaches. Not to mention the tar balls.
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Old 20-09-2016, 18:14   #44
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Several have made the point that plastic never returns to its elemental constituents, but just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic. We don't yet know what that will mean for humans, but it is possible to speculate, especially since the incorporation of micro-plastic particles into the tissues of marine organism has now been documented in the scientific literature.

I'm not sure that those papers would yet have been written without the garbage patch myth providing some earnest motivation for real science to take place.

Same might be said for the ozone hole stuff - choroflourocarbon emissions (which destroy ozone) have been controlled globally now as a direct result of that one.

I'm not condoning environmental (or scientific) BS at all. The link in the original post shows the damage it can do, with the author of the referenced article using the patch myth to help debunk climate science - oi ve'!

BTW, the evidence for climate change is intrinsic, in that CO2 traps heat, and we are sky-rocketing global atmospheric CO2 concentrations now - demonstrably due to fossil fuel burning. Something is happening to global climate as a direct result of that - exactly what is presently a very complex and difficult question to answer with any sort of predictive accuracy, and the lack of scientific concensus on this aspect alone, is leaving plenty of scope for the nay-sayers to point and laugh at the whole idea of climate change unfortunately
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Old 20-09-2016, 18:15   #45
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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It would be interesting to hear the results of Mat Rutherfords efforts.
His talk on his research
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