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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Sun Nov 5, 11:56 AM ET<br><br>
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Old toothbrushes, beach toys and used condoms are part of a vast vortex of plastic trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, threatening sea creatures that get tangled in it, eat it or ride on it, a new report says.<br><br><br><br>
Because plastic doesn't break down the way organic material does, ocean currents and tides have carried it thousands of miles (kms) to an area between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast, according to the study by the international environmental group Greenpeace.<br><br><br><br>
This swirling vortex, which can grow to be about the size of Texas, is not far from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, designated as a protected U.S. national monument in June by President George W. Bush.<br><br><br><br>
The Greenpeace report, "Plastic Debris in the World's Oceans" said at least 267 species -- including seabirds, turtles, seals, sea lions, whales and fish -- are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.<br><br><br><br>
Some 80 percent of this debris comes from land and 20 percent from the oceans, the report said, with four main sources: tourism, sewage, fishing and waste from ships and boats.<br><br><br><br>
The new report comes days after the journal Science projected that Earth's stocks of fish and seafood would collapse by 2048 if trends in overfishing and pollution continue.<br><br><br><br>
Two weeks ago, the U.S. Institute of Medicine said the benefits of eating fish outweigh the risks of toxins detected in the animals." <<<<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/whack.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":whack:"><a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061105/sc_nm/environment_plastic_dc;_ylt=AqvjADsGC86bgrjkpjGTJ7xxieAA;_ylu=X3oDMTA4NmhocGZ1BHNlYwMxNzAw" target="_blank">link</a><br><br><br><br>
"A biologically rich coral island chain in the Pacific Ocean northwest of Hawaii, which President Bush designated as a marine national monument, is under assault from floating garbage ranging from plastic bottlecaps to baby diapers.<br><br><br><br>
Hailed by environmentalists as one of the president's most enduring contributions to the environment, the Montana-sized monument includes uninhabited islands home to some 7,000 marine species, at least a quarter of which are found nowhere else on earth.<br><br><br><br>
But the new national monument also resides on the edge what marine scientists call the great "eastern garbage patch": a section of slowly rotating Pacific Ocean currents - or gyre - double the size of Texas that acts as a giant garbage collector.<br><br><br><br>
Sitting between Hawaii and northern California, the patch's sluggish currents wash onto the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. That 1,200-mile-long island chain north of Kauai acts as the teeth of a giant comb, straining onto its otherwise pristine beaches and coral reefs floating trash, such as syringes, bags, six-pack rings, and tons of fishing nets and other gear.<br><br><br><br>
Concern about the problem has risen to such a level that Congress has acted on it. On Sept. 27 the House passed a bill that would give a lift to struggling ad-hoc efforts to clear debris from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Their move follows the Senate's approval of the legislation last year. Observers are optimistic that the bill will be finalized, and Mr. Bush will sign it into law after the November election.<br><br><br><br>
It would not be a moment too soon, experts say. About 3 million tons of the trash floating in the garbage patch is plastic, estimates Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in Long Beach, Ca., who has traversed the gyre on research expeditions.<br><br><br><br>
Samples he collected in a recent study showed that there were more tiny bits of plastic by weight than there were plankton per cubic meter of sea water."<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1011/p02s01-usgn.html" target="_blank">http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1011/p02s01-usgn.html</a>
 

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Ah, crap.
 

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Well, This sucks... I think I should recycle more. Next summer is compost heap time and no more throw aways, yeah. I think this has just made me want to stop buying plastic things. Like seriously. I'm going to try to cut down now. This really makes my stomach twist. This would be like someone coming into my home and pouring sewage, trash, plastic all over it. Geez. Wow.
 

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Oh wow, this makes me really wish I could buy many things without all that plastic packageing and crap.<br><br>
I mean no matter how much I recycle if everyone else is just throwing it away it will end up there.<br><br>
Packageing laws need to be changed, I mean WTH is wrong with buying onions in burlap instead of plastic?<br><br>
Nothing of course you know if that was an option in the stores :/
 

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My ideas:<br><br><br><br>
1. bring cloth bags for groceries<br><br>
2. use cloth towels instead of paper<br><br>
3. use glass jars instead of plastic (or I can save them and use them for my own things!)<br><br>
4. use metal silverware instead of plastic ones<br><br><br><br>
I bet there are more things I can do. I'm going to check the other threads for ideas.
 

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What's really pathetic is even after years and years and years of such research 1. Many cities/towns still don't even have recycling pick up, close recycling centers, or don't even recycle plastic for reasons of "cost-efficiancy" 2. Many PEOPLE still don't even recycle... I mean, DUUUUHHHH.<br><br><br><br>
oh, ganygreenbean, I just bought a whole mess of cloth strong bags from reusablebags. com, and I love them!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sushi8kat</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What's really pathetic is even after years and years and years of such research 1. Many cities/towns still don't even have recycling pick up, close recycling centers, or don't even recycle plastic for reasons of "cost-efficiancy" 2. Many PEOPLE still don't even recycle... I mean, DUUUUHHHH.<br><br><br><br>
oh, ganygreenbean, I just bought a whole mess of cloth strong bags from reusablebags. com, and I love them!</div>
</div>
<br><br><br><span style="color:#800080;">Yeah, My father worked at the local dump when I was growing up. Well, I wanted to recycle all our stuff. He said "Don't bother, they just dump all the recycle pick up into a different hole."<br><br><br><br>
So my dreams of saving the planet were squashed. It really made me sad.</span>
 

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Blue Frontier: Saving America's Living Seas is a really good book about the oceans...after reading it and other things, I'm honestly not shocked anymore when I read these kinds of things. If anything, people would **** if they really how bad things are.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:"> Sad...very, very sad.
 

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Yeah, when you live in Hawaii, you become very familiar with this issue... there are beaches on the Ka`u coast that catch TONS of debris each year. There are annual massive cleanups that barely make a dent...<br><br><br><br>
and the stuff that washes up on the NW Hawaiian Islands is just mind-boggling...
 

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<a href="http://www.mindfully.org/Water/2006/Sea-Plague-Plastic2aug06.htm" target="_blank">http://www.mindfully.org/Water/2006/...stic2aug06.htm</a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas<br><br>
On Midway Atoll, 40% of albatross chicks die, their bellies full of trash.<br><br>
Swirling masses of drifting debris pollute remote beaches and snare wildlife.</div>
</div>
<br>
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It must be heartbreaking to have it right there in front of you, Randy. For many of us, these kinds of things seem very remote.
 

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I was trying to find pictures of this texas-sized vortex but even google is oblivious. Then again, maybe I don't want to see it, it might make me cry.
 

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it won't show in a picture... it's not like it's a visible stain...<br><br><br><br><a href="http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/our-oceans/pollution/trash-vortex" target="_blank">http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/our-...n/trash-vortex</a>
 

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here's an interesting journal article about Laysan Island. Be sure to read the section titled "Death by Plastic"<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.hawaiianatolls.org/research/NWHIRAMP2004/journals/j0924_laysan.php" target="_blank">http://www.hawaiianatolls.org/resear...924_laysan.php</a>
 

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All those lighters. Would the use of matches be better? Erg.. This is upsetting. Those birds are trying so hard to take care of their young when really they are adding to the demise of them due to the plastic we all throw out.
 

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This is real scary. It is making me feel ill. It isn't like there is another planet for us to go to, that just needs some basic utilities set up before we can start moving in - electric lines, roads, cable tv and telephone lines.<br><br><br><br>
GGB, I'm pretty sure matches would be much less of a problem than cigarette lighters. Cigarette filters are another problem. They are typically rayon, and can take 12 years to degrade on land. Filter-cigarettes should be outlawed. Smokers should be forced to smoke high-tar cigarettes so we can get rid of them sooner.<br><br><br><br>
"Those birds are trying so hard to take care of their young when really they are adding to the demise of them due to the plastic we all throw out."<br><br><br><br>
I like to look over birds nests that I find on my land or on public lands, to see what the birds have woven into their nests. Birds' choices of materials to weave into their nests are very amusing.
 
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