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In the frenzy of the recent proclamations by big corporations like to phase out , my…
plastic  straws  from twitter_favs
22 hours ago by ebuchholtz
Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Bigger and Mostly Made of Fishing Gear
"Microplastics make up 94 percent of an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the patch. But that only amounts to eight percent of the total tonnage. As it turns out, of the 79,000 metric tons of plastic in the patch, most of it is abandoned fishing gear—not plastic bottles or packaging drawing headlines today."
biology  science  water  plastic  waste 
3 days ago by pacpost
Plastic straws aren’t the problem • Bloomberg
Adam Minter:
<p>The anti-straw movement took off in 2015, after a video of a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose went viral. Campaigns soon followed, with activists often citing studies of the growing ocean plastics problem. Intense media interest in the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a floating, France-sized gyre of oceanic plastic - only heightened the concern.

But this well-intentioned campaign assumes that single-use plastics, such as straws and coffee stirrers, have much to do with ocean pollution. And that assumption is based on some highly dubious data. Activists and news media often claim that Americans use 500 million plastic straws per day, for example, which sounds awful. But the source of this figure turns out to be a survey conducted by a nine-year-old. Similarly, two Australian scientists estimate that there are up to 8.3 billion plastic straws scattered on global coastlines. Yet even if all those straws were suddenly washed into the sea, they'd account for about .03% of the 8 million metric tons of plastics estimated to enter the oceans in a given year.

In other words, skipping a plastic straw in your next Bahama Mama may feel conscientious, but it won't make a dent in the garbage patch. So what will?

A recent survey by scientists affiliated with Ocean Cleanup, a group developing technologies to reduce ocean plastic, offers one answer. Using surface samples and aerial surveys, the group determined that at least 46% of the plastic in the garbage patch by weight comes from a single product: fishing nets. Other fishing gear makes up a good chunk of the rest.</p>

OK, but .03% of 8m is 2,400 tonnes, which is a lot of plastic. As the article also makes clear, there are market mechanisms to identify abandoned nets, but they're poorly implemented. That can be fixed too. Everyone wins, including the sea creatures.
Pollution  sea  plastic 
4 days ago by charlesarthur
More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution - Scientific American Blog Network
Effectively, we have accepted individual responsibility for a problem we have little control over. We can swim against this plastic stream with all our might and fail to make much headway. At some point we need to address the source.
plastic  environment  recycling  pollution 
6 days ago by madamim

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