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# 219096 25-Jul-2017 22:07
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Researchers map plastic patch bigger than Greenland floating in the South Pacific:

Stuff: A massive plastic patch larger than Greenland has been discovered in the South Pacific, and much of the waste is believed to have originated in New Zealand.

The discovery was made by a team of researchers led by Captain Charles Moore, and is vital to understanding the extent of plastic waste, he says.[snip]

"On current trends, in the next five years we [world] will be putting more plastic in the ocean than all of the twentieth century," he said.

"There's this tsunami of plastic coming our way, unless we stop the leakage, and close the gaps in our global waste system."

As a country with a large coastline it's probably a bit easier for us to lose stuff out of the waste stream into the sea. There may be a case for looking closely at how we manage rubbish in coastal areas.

For instance on a practical level understand how much we lose in an area like Auckland's viaduct and how we could minimise that.

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  # 1830396 25-Jul-2017 23:18
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I gather in Dunedin, a large quantity of pay and display tickets end up in the harbor.
Cant imagine it being much different in other coastal cities.




Location: Dunedin

 


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  # 1830430 26-Jul-2017 07:09
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much of the waste is believed to have originated in New Zealand

 

 

Translation: It could have come from NZ, but we have no idea really.

 

 

Sailors may not realise they are in a plastic patch as they sail through it

 

 

So it's an invisible, normally undetectable plastic patch. An area of higher density than other areas. And, if you think for a moment, this is perfectly normal.

 

Plastic waste in the ocean is probably important, but this is nonsense reporting which really tells you nothing.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1830452 26-Jul-2017 08:07
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frankv:

 

Plastic waste in the ocean is probably important, but this is nonsense reporting which really tells you nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't see how this is nonsense reporting.

 

Its another reminder that everyone needs to do more to recycle plastic, cans, bottles, etc.

 

How many Geekzoners take their soft plastics back to the supermarket to be recycled?


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  # 1830538 26-Jul-2017 10:18
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darkasdes2:

 

 

 

How many Geekzoners take their soft plastics back to the supermarket to be recycled?

 

 

Even if you do - then what happens to it - is it actually recycled, then if it is, into what?

 

Clearly some things like PET (ie drink bottles) can get recycled into some useful product like "polarfleece".

 

Much doesn't though - or gets recycled into products where properties are less demanding and/or because it (recycled plastic) has poorer mechanical properties, then use more of it (thicker/heavier) compared to virgin plastic.

 

So if recycled plastic bags end up in flower pots or synthetic decking boards - that still won't break down back into the environment - like the products they displaced - is it actually a solution - or another example of industry "greenwashing".  (In most cases it's clearly in the best financial interest of the virgin plastic producer, the manufacturer of the first use product using that plastic, and the recycler that volume of production is as high as possible).

 

I feel guilty looking at the content of our "recycling" bin.  It's very very hard to avoid plastic waste - mainly unnecessary packaging.

 

 

 

 


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  # 1830549 26-Jul-2017 10:41
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The scheme that we see in supermarkets and other shops is

 

http://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/soft-plastics

 

I do agree there is a lot of unnecessary plastic packaging.

 

I know its another discussion but it would be good to see glass bottles etc be reused rather than recycled into something else that is used once. In Canada, the beer bottles are reused on an average 17 times before being recycled into something else.

 

I would also like to see a deposit scheme that they use in Canada and Europe for recyclables. I know that local councils are keen for it but its a shame that the National Government is not keen for it.


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  # 1830551 26-Jul-2017 10:47
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formula to reduce plastic. Ban use of plastic shopping bags+plant trees. 





Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

There is no planet B

 

 


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  # 1830553 26-Jul-2017 10:49
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MikeB4:

 

formula to reduce plastic. Ban use of plastic shopping bags+plant trees. 

 

 

 

 

+1


 
 
 
 


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  # 1830566 26-Jul-2017 11:10
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I remember a year or so ago, NASA + some reasearch group did not find any evidence of floating plastic islands in the oceans, etc. However, they confirmed there is rubbish, but not at the scale presented by such articles.

 

and if it was the size of Greenland, it would make it almost as half of AU, and would be noticeable from space (not, right?)

 

I'm not saying rubbish dumping to the sea is good idea, and definitely this should not be done at all. But meh these clickbait articles.





helping others at evgenyk.nz


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  # 1831611 26-Jul-2017 13:46
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Fred99:

 

 

 

So if recycled plastic bags end up in flower pots or synthetic decking boards - that still won't break down back into the environment - like the products they displaced - is it actually a solution - or another example of industry "greenwashing".  (In most cases it's clearly in the best financial interest of the virgin plastic producer, the manufacturer of the first use product using that plastic, and the recycler that volume of production is as high as possible).

 

 

 

 

I think plastic bags getting recycled and bolted to your deck for 30 years is waaaaay better than plastic bags ending up in the sea or a land fill. There is a shortage of timber so the displaced wood is still going to be used, possibly instead of virgin plastic or steel - which takes a pile of carbon to smelter, so it's still a win.


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  # 1831619 26-Jul-2017 13:59
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kobiak:

 

I remember a year or so ago, NASA + some reasearch group did not find any evidence of floating plastic islands in the oceans, etc. However, they confirmed there is rubbish, but not at the scale presented by such articles.

 

and if it was the size of Greenland, it would make it almost as half of AU, and would be noticeable from space (not, right?)

 

I'm not saying rubbish dumping to the sea is good idea, and definitely this should not be done at all. But meh these clickbait articles.

 

 

 

 

I was constantly removing plastic bags from the leg of my outboard motor and the fish finder probe. One does not need to sail far to see the extent (tip of the iceberg) of the problem.





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

There is no planet B

 

 


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  # 1831621 26-Jul-2017 13:59
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There is no plastic land that you can go stand on like an island, The issue is that it is all small fine grains of plastic, as glass does as it slowly wears way over time, The PPM of this plastic in the water is very high compared to a non polluted area, The Pacific vortex will obliviously concentrate these fine grains of plastic. Every animal that filter feeds and lives in the ocean breathing this through their gills has plastic particles entering their blood stream, As we do when we breath pink bats.. 

If this doesnt raise a huge alarm i dont know what does. The oceans are dead, Great Barrier reef i was hoping to dive this year with my Mother, But that dream is very close to gone. Its also officially declared dead, What a shame. 


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  # 1831689 26-Jul-2017 15:37
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Better to avoid using plastic at all where reasonably possible. 

 

In particular disposable single use plastic items that can't or won't be recycled.  Sushi trays are an example of something I've easily eliminated - I just take my own plastic box to pick and mix sushi places.  They don't mind.  Ditto my coffee cup.

 

Plastic worries me more than climate change because it will be around so long.

 

Genuinely bio-decomposable plastic is better.  Even it it gets landfilled and degrades anaerobically, that's better than non-decomposable plastic floating around the ocean.





Mike

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  # 1831724 26-Jul-2017 16:42
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tripper1000:

 

Fred99:

 

 

 

So if recycled plastic bags end up in flower pots or synthetic decking boards - that still won't break down back into the environment - like the products they displaced - is it actually a solution - or another example of industry "greenwashing".  (In most cases it's clearly in the best financial interest of the virgin plastic producer, the manufacturer of the first use product using that plastic, and the recycler that volume of production is as high as possible).

 

 

 

 

I think plastic bags getting recycled and bolted to your deck for 30 years is waaaaay better than plastic bags ending up in the sea or a land fill. There is a shortage of timber so the displaced wood is still going to be used, possibly instead of virgin plastic or steel - which takes a pile of carbon to smelter, so it's still a win.

 

 

My point that even if recycled - it's still ultimately destined to end up in landfill or the environment and it's not reducing demand for production for new virgin plastic - as recycled plastic isn't used much in new quality plastic products.

 

I wouldn't "ban" plastic bags - but tax the crap out of them to the point that they're more expensive than biodegradable alternatives.

 

I'm somewhat bemused by the fuss about bottled water plants being set up in locations in NZ where there's no shortage of water and no damage to the environment from extracting the volumes they propose - but FFS for every million litres they're bottling - they're putting it in a million one litre non-return plastic bottles - yet I don't hear complaints about that.  Apparently one million plastic bottles are sold every minute somewhere in the world.  Crazy, unnecessary, and unsustainable IMO, even if companies like Coca Cola commit to using a % of recycled plastic in their bottles.

 

 


gzt



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  # 1831759 26-Jul-2017 18:17
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darkasdes2:

frankv:


Plastic waste in the ocean is probably important, but this is nonsense reporting which really tells you nothing.


 



I don't see how this is nonsense reporting.


Its another reminder that everyone needs to do more to recycle plastic, cans, bottles, etc.


How many Geekzoners take their soft plastics back to the supermarket to be recycled?



Not me. The three or four supermarkets I regularly visit don't have it. Unless it's tucked away somewhere? but I think i would have noticed it. Googled and found this article:

NZHerald (July 2015):

The Government-funded initiative would see drop-off points established at shops and supermarkets, and a new recycling plant in Auckland with capacity to recycle a range of soft plastics including shopping bags, bread bags, frozen food bags and food wrap.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said the initiative would be funded from the government's Waste Minimisation Fund with a $700,000 grant to the Packaging Forum to trial the drop-off service, and a $510,000 grant to Astrong Plastics Group which will establish the new dry-cleaning facility.

Dr Smith said the new scheme would allow plastics not currently able to be collected by kerbside recycling to be re-used.

Later on the article says it's a three year rollout. So it's at year two currently.

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  # 1831841 26-Jul-2017 20:41
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kobiak:

 

I remember a year or so ago, NASA + some reasearch group did not find any evidence of floating plastic islands in the oceans, etc. However, they confirmed there is rubbish, but not at the scale presented by such articles.

 

and if it was the size of Greenland, it would make it almost as half of AU, and would be noticeable from space (not, right?)

 

I'm not saying rubbish dumping to the sea is good idea, and definitely this should not be done at all. But meh these clickbait articles.

 

 

Yeah, clickbait.

 

As I said, it's not a floating plastic island; it's an area in the ocean where there is a lot of plastic (not intact bags; particles about the size of a grain of rice) suspended. "A lot" is some unspecified amount, but apparently not so much that the average sailor would even notice it. Anything other than zero can be claimed to be "a lot" (e.g. house meth testing).

 

 


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