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Old 24-02-2010, 21:58   #16
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I think this link might shed some light:
Garbage

I was trying to remember what I had studied for my pleasure craft operators license (and couldn't). There are laws I know, however unenforceable, that cover even organics (particle size). This chart shocked me from the above site:

Time taken for objects to dissolve at sea
Paper bus ticket
2-4 weeks
Cotton cloth
1-5 months
Rope
3-14 months
Woollen cloth
1 year
Painted wood
13 years
Tin can
100 years
Aluminium can
200-500 years
Plastic bottle
450 years

Source: Hellenic Marine Environemnt Protection Association (HELMEPA)
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Old 24-02-2010, 22:13   #17
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I think this link might shed some light:
Garbage



Time taken for objects to dissolve at sea


Plastic bottle
450 years

Source: Hellenic Marine Environemnt Protection Association (HELMEPA)
Statements like this always bring out the cynic in me. 450 years? How do they know? Plastic bottles haven't been invented that long.
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Old 24-02-2010, 22:44   #18
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Good point, plastics have only been around for 150 years and truth is plastics decay at varying rates. Still there does seem to be some cause for concern.
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Old 28-02-2010, 13:07   #19
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plastics decay at varying rates.
Ain't THAT the truth! Some dillweed was using the back of my plot of land back in TN as a dumpyard. Found all kinds of broken and rotting plastic. Apparently it only takes about 5 years for a plastic Playskool slide to start breaking down (super brittle).

Burned green fire when lit, considering I was also trying to get rid of pine beetles at the time I really wasn't all that concerned about the air. Maybe I should'a been.

The glass burned purple, by the by, when the fire got hot enough (that didn't take long).

Still used the ash in the garden. Veggies didn't taste off or anything.
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Old 28-02-2010, 15:49   #20
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Keep a pair of heavy poultry shears handy and cut up all plastics into confetti sized pieces. A large amount of bottles etc will store easily. months worth if needed.
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Old 28-02-2010, 21:21   #21
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Wonderful advice Will, Muffin and Lucy. Chopped up plastic takes up less space and presents less of a threat to swimming things should it get loose.
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Old 28-02-2010, 23:08   #22
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Good point, plastics have only been around for 150 years and truth is plastics decay at varying rates. Still there does seem to be some cause for concern.
The entire shoreline (secluded) of the west end of the Caribbean has a lot of plastic on it.
In one area of the San Blass we found deposits up to 2 ft thick of shredded plastic mixed with sand.
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Old 28-02-2010, 23:49   #23
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Don't throw it away

And don't underestimate how much of what we consider to be rubbish can by reused by others. If you visit SE Asia, pretty much everywhere apart from the affluent areas of Singapore, Hong Kong and Phuket, the locals will take your rubbish off you. It has value. Aluminium is valuable, your old engine oil will end up inside some other piece of machinery, plastic bottles and disposable cigarette lighters become fishing floats. Your potato peelings and orange rinds feed the pigs.

Although we do like to think that sailing is an ecologically sound lifestyle. The reality is that it isn't - we are still in the top 5% of consumers on this planet.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:45   #24
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I have a bag that hangs off the stern rail. Its made of topgun(about the strongest canvas on market). Is securely fastened with a flap and three commonsense fasteners. Has drawstring top and handle on the bottom for emptying into dumpsters. Holds huge amount of trash being 30" around and tall. I made up a few to offer at a marine flea market coming up at jsi. Don't know if people will want to shell out $50 or so for a trash bag though. Materials are half of that alone.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:43   #25
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For coastal sailing, ie not more than two or three days at sea between ports/anchorages, we separate out recyclables (paper/batteries/tins/plastics) and stow in bags on top bunk in forecabin to take ashore for recycling. (This is in Europe.) Longest it has ever taken us to find recycling facilities was 6 weeks (Alvor to Cartagena, Spain, via Morocco). Residual waste bagged and waits for trip ashore.

Longer trips/difficulty finding recycling sites, we compact and reduce bulk as mjuch as we can. We have never thrown paper (especially treated, printing paper) overboard except when not using the holding tank on longer passages, and we don't like to thrown glass or tins overboard either.

Extraordinary the number of people in small, swimming anchorages who put all sorts of c**p in the water, both literally and metaphorically, and then complain about the cost of taxes/fees to clean the beaches.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:06   #26
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Seems like plastic breaks down much quicker in the sunlight. I once dug up a plastic garbage bag that I had buried 5 years previously and found that it had not deteriorated noticeably.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:10   #27
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Plastics never actually 'decompose'; they merely break down into smaller and smaller pieces, or component compounds. Being an inorganic material, they will never ‘compost’.

Some plastics break down quickly ➥
Plastic Breaks Down in Ocean, After All -- And Fast
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:22   #28
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Well, I don't throw anything over except organic material. I split the recyclables from the other garbage while on shore, and I ought to do that on the boat as well.
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