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Laurent

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Consequences of using plastics
« on: April 21, 2013, 03:07:17 PM »

Interesting video, on the impact of our civilisation !

Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 06:06:54 PM »
Don't know if I already posted that...? but you know about the plastic continent...yes you know...there is one in arctic also and it may be the biggest...
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000240/pdf

Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2014, 11:04:32 PM »
Who wants some plastic stone to build your home...
An anthropogenic marker horizon in the future rock record
http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/24/6/pdf/i1052-5173-24-6-4.pdf

Anne

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 04:21:42 PM »
The Ocean Cleanup Kid responds to his critics item by item. The feasibility study suggests the project might work.
Quote
This week, I presented the results of a year-long study me and my 100 colleagues have been working on. The 530-page report has been authored by 70 people, and concluded my concept is indeed likely a feasible and viable ocean cleanup technique. The conclusion has been peer reviewed by external experts
Well worth a read.
http://www.theoceancleanup.com/blog/show/item/responding-to-critics.html



I really hope this thing can happen.

Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 01:03:53 AM »
Quote
Laundry Lint Pollutes the World's Oceans

Lint from washing machines is polluting the world’s oceans. Nearly 2000 polyester fibers can float away, unseen, from a single fleece sweater in one wash cycle. The consequences of this widespread pollution are still hazy, but environmental scientists say the microscopic plastic fibers have the potential to harm marine life.

http://news.sciencemag.org/earth/2014/06/trending-how-plastic-changing-world
That's an important news for many...and for me...sheezz all my landry is synthetic....
We really should take that serioulsly...

Laurent

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Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 12:55:36 PM »
Why Illinois has banned exfoliating face washes
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25773-why-illinois-has-banned-exfoliating-face-washes.html?cmpid=RSS|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|environment#.U6lXVFFJzlc

Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 11:50:34 PM »

Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2014, 05:16:50 PM »

TerryM

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2014, 01:08:57 AM »
Laurent
I've been reading everything at this site since Neven started it & I don't think I've ever thanked you for your contributions.
Thank You
Terry

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2014, 02:03:19 AM »
Wow, Laurent, that is a horror story! I vividly recall the 2007 Harper's article on the plastic garbage in the Pacific Gyre. I'm appalled that there's evidence that it's just plain gone.

(Article — From the January 2007 issue
Moby-Duck Or, the synthetic wilderness of childhood By Donovan Hohn
http://harpers.org/archive/2007/01/moby-duck/)

'Davison and Law say there are a number of other potential places the plastic could be ending up. It could be washing ashore, and a lot of it could be degrading into pieces too small to be detected. Another possibility is that organisms sticking to and growing on the plastic are dragging the junk beneath the ocean’s surface, either suspending it in the water column or sinking it all the way to the sea floor. Microbes may even be eating the stuff.

'Best-case scenario for the fate of the missing plastic? It’s sinking from the weight of organisms sticking to it or in animal feces and getting buried on the ocean floor, Law says. “I don’t think we can conceive of the worst-case scenario, quite frankly. We really don’t know what this plastic is doing.”'
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Neven

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2014, 11:24:13 AM »
Quote
If that’s the case, “there is potential for this plastic to enter the global ocean food web,” says Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, Crawley. “And we are part of this food web.”

Is this the same Duarte who was supposed to brief the White House about methane clathrates, a story that was somewhat overblown?

I vaguely remember reading somewhere, or maybe it was a documentary, that if we could prevent plastic from reaching the oceans, things would be sorted out within a decade, perhaps two.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2014, 05:04:00 PM »
Thanks TerryM,
I must thank too much people here, everyone adding something for the search of the truth is very welcome, starting by Neven, Abruptslr, Wipneus, you, Espen and many others. I regret that jimd and a few others have step back. Anyway until now it is great to observe what is going on and I am really enjoying to share it with you.

Laurent

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Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 07:52:47 PM »

Bruce Steele

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2014, 08:29:21 PM »
What a bunch of rubbish. " An expert " with nothing more than an untested theory claims plastic is a bigger threat to life than climate change? If ,as he claims ,plastic is killing something he might ask what species are at risk, he might say where those species reside, or what mechanisms actually cause mortality. He might also balance that loss with the fact that big piece of floating plastic also harbor barnacles , tunicates , and a long list of species that utilize our trash as good habitat. Anyway I think the " expert " would appreciate donations, and that is probably a big motivation of this junk article.
I am not promoting more trash in the ocean but this article could be viewed as a red herring, a canard, or an obfuscation to divert attention. Considering how poorly it makes it's own claim ," bigger than climate change " I would say that may be it's actual intent + donations.   

Laurent

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2014, 09:56:55 AM »
I agree with you, still we have to listen this guy and others because there is plenty of them and thought there saying is not true they have contributed and contribute to a better world by showing us things we won't have focused on otherwise. I am thinking also of the president of Kokopelli (http://www.kokopelli-seed-foundation.com/), recently he was saying that the climate is not a problem but the seeds are... his association is one who complain about Avaaz because they ask for donation, claiming they are involved when they aren't. There is a battle for donation and that should increase when the money will become scarce.
My point is that we have to listen what they say but of course we are not obliged to agree with them.

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kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2019, 05:19:01 PM »
Cigarette butts are the forgotten plastic pollution—and they could be killing our plants

Cigarette butts or filters are the most littered item on the planet. An estimated 5.6 trillion cigarettes are smoked each year, out of which two thirds are improperly disposed of. That's [4.5 trillion butts] each year. Since the 1980s, cigarette butts have accounted for 30 percent to 40 percent of all litter found in coastal and urban litter clean-ups.

...

as well as taking much longer to break down than most people think, discarded cigarette butts may significantly damage surrounding plant growth, as our new research suggests.

Cigarette butts are composed of thousands of cellulose acetate fibers and, although biodegradable, take years to disappear from the environment.

...Used filters also contain thousands of chemicals that can kill plants, insects, rodents, fungus and other lifeforms, and some of which are known carcinogens. ... The leachates from cigarette butts can be toxic to aquatic organisms such as bacteria, crustaceans, worms and fish.

...

In surveys of the three largest parks in Cambridge, my colleagues and I found an average of 2.6 butts per square meter, with a maximum of 126 butts per square meter found near park benches (despite having ashtrays nearby)...what effect do they have on the plants in the park?

we conducted an experiment, adding cigarette butts to pots with either grass (perennial ryegrass) or clover (white clover) seeds to see how their development was affected. We tested butts from smoked and unsmoked regular and menthol cigarettes, as well as butt-sized wooden dowels to compare the effect of simply having an inert object on top of the soil.

We found that cigarette butts reduced the germination and shoot length reached by grass and clover by up to 25 percent and reduced the amount of root biomass of clover by almost 60%.

and more

https://phys.org/news/2019-07-cigarette-butts-forgotten-plastic-pollutionand.html

Many links in the article.




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nanning

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2019, 06:40:38 PM »
Cigarette butts are the forgotten plastic pollution—and they could be killing our plants

Cigarette butts or filters are the most littered item on the planet. An estimated 5.6 trillion cigarettes are smoked each year, out of which two thirds are improperly disposed of. That's [4.5 trillion butts] each year. Since the 1980s, cigarette butts have accounted for 30 percent to 40 percent of all litter found in coastal and urban litter clean-ups.
<snippage>

I estimate I have removed some 10000 cigarette butts from nature and streets in the past 5 years. When I became aware of the poisons and effects. I'm a smoker and now always carry an ashtray with me when 'in nature'. The ashtray's contents go each day in a little plastic (yes, sorry) bag.
Not just cigarette butts but all kinds of plastic, metal cans, bottles and broken glass, fireworks remnants etc.
I really have to strongly commend the 'hunter/gather' aspect of it. Locate, bend down and manoeuvre with bended knees, take the litter in your almost full hand, get up again and dispose of the litter. The  movements are very natural and good for the environment and morality. Set a good example  ;)
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2019, 03:32:33 PM »
Yeah whenever you grab that plastic sandwich bag and dispose of it properly you save thousands of pieces later. And the picking up can indeed be an exercise.
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TerryM

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2019, 05:49:35 PM »
Jeez nanning


That's my Cambridge they're talking about here in Ontario. The closest park is 1 block from door.


If you're good for ~2K butts/an why not move into my building and do Cambridge some good. ;)
I smoked when I moved here, but found the ostracize oppressing. Quit ~ 5 yrs ago after a mild stroke - though I still vape.
After living in Las Vegas Cambridge felt like the non-smoking capital of the world. If our parks are such a mess I can't help wonder how other regions would fare.


Thanks for the article kassy.
Next time I'm out I'll check the parks to see if they suddenly got worse in my absence.
Terry

nanning

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2019, 07:34:56 AM »
I'd have no problem cleaning your park Terry but you live so very far away.

It takes no more effort than a couple of hours gathering each day and, depending on the abundance of butts, in a week all the old butts will be gone. I even enjoy doing it. Especially if the 'before' and 'after' contrast is very visible.

In my observation grown-ups hardly bent anymore; go through their knees, to the ground. The most important effect is that most people lost their jumping power and with that also lost their ability to run naturally like children can. Very sad.

Most of the time the butts are concentrated around the park's benches and then it is possible to pick up >25 per minute on average.
Las Vegas must be awash with butts from so many smokers.

It sucks that you are not so fit anymore and cannot do it yourself but if you know any environmentally aware teenagers perhaps they are willing to do it. I expect other people to give compliments if they see teenagers picking up old butts ;).
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

TerryM

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2019, 11:19:49 AM »
I'd have no problem cleaning your park Terry but you live so very far away.

It takes no more effort than a couple of hours gathering each day and, depending on the abundance of butts, in a week all the old butts will be gone. I even enjoy doing it. Especially if the 'before' and 'after' contrast is very visible.

In my observation grown-ups hardly bent anymore; go through their knees, to the ground. The most important effect is that most people lost their jumping power and with that also lost their ability to run naturally like children can. Very sad.

Most of the time the butts are concentrated around the park's benches and then it is possible to pick up >25 per minute on average.
Las Vegas must be awash with butts from so many smokers.

It sucks that you are not so fit anymore and cannot do it yourself but if you know any environmentally aware teenagers perhaps they are willing to do it. I expect other people to give compliments if they see teenagers picking up old butts ;) .
We have a river cleanup program every year thanks to volunteers from the Ancient Mariners Canoe Club. I participated for ~5 yrs and still maintain my membership, even though it's been a while since I could portage my canoe.
It's a nice bunch of old timers very concerned with keeping the river as pristine as possible.


I can still bend my knees to get down, but getting up without assistance is problematical. :-[
Terry

nanning

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2019, 12:15:08 PM »
Quote
getting up without assistance is problematical
Now I'm imagining teenagers picking up your old butt.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

TerryM

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2019, 12:23:39 PM »
Quote
getting up without assistance is problematical
Now I'm imagining teenagers picking up your old butt.
They have! :)
Terry




be cause

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2019, 11:44:48 AM »
bbc reported Trump straws .. a plastic pack of 10 plastic straws for $15 to fund Trump's next campaign . They are selling by the thousand and are destined for the ocean .. Trump declared he 'loves plastic' .. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 + 2 = 2021 
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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2019, 06:06:34 PM »
bbc reported Trump straws .. a plastic pack of 10 plastic straws for $15 to fund Trump's next campaign . They are selling by the thousand and are destined for the ocean .. Trump declared he 'loves plastic' .. b.c.

Interestingly whenver I'm working on my book about alternative political and economic system, one key part and very complex part is the part about responsibility.

Without being held responsible, politicians and corporate leaders will never come to reason and set the priorities right.

Further, as it happens, responsibility has to come with consequences once conduct is not according to the rules and the only group of people who make me think whether death penalties would be justified ( IMO it never is but i'm reconsidering from time to time) is when I think about punishment for politicians and corporate leaders who in fact commit mass-murder when following the consequences of their doings to the end.

BTW animals deserve as much respect as humans, (sometimes i tend to think but not say, even more so)

Now what has this to do with this thread ?

The Donald is one of those who make me reconsider !

DaveHitz

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2019, 07:45:25 AM »
bbc reported Trump straws .. a plastic pack of 10 plastic straws for $15 to fund Trump's next campaign . They are selling by the thousand and are destined for the ocean .. Trump declared he 'loves plastic' .. b.c.

In the US, most plastic goes into landfill, not into the ocean.

That said, I'm all in favor of impeachment.

vox_mundi

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2019, 05:12:54 PM »
Paradise Lost
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-plastic-junk-spawns-island-disaster.html



Henderson Island is an uninhabited coral atoll that lies almost exactly halfway between New Zealand and Peru, with 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles) of ocean in either direction.

Despite its extreme isolation, a freak confluence of geography and ocean currents means Henderson has one of the highest concentrations of plastic pollution on the planet.


"We found debris from just about everywhere," said Jennifer Lavers, an Australian-based researcher who led an expedition to the island last month.

"We had bottles and containers, all kinds of fishing stuff and it had come from, well, you name it—Germany, Canada, the United States, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador.

Henderson lies at the centre of the South Pacific gyre, a vast circular ocean current that runs anti-clockwise down the east coast of Australia and up the west coast of South America.

The gyre should be a boon for the 10-kilometre-by-five speck of land, carrying rich nutrients into the waters surrounding Henderson to feed huge colonies of sea birds. Henderson was included on the UN World Heritage List in 1988, with the body hailing it as an untouched paradise.

But three decades later, the gyre has become a marine conveyor belt dumping endless waves of plastic detritus onto Henderson's coast, making it the hub of what has become known as the South Pacific Garbage Patch.

-------------------------

Are Mini Shampoo Bottles the New Plastic Straw?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/29/travel/plastic-straws-mini-shampoo-bottles.html

Now that the hotel industry has largely embraced bans on plastic straws, one major hotel group aims to eliminate the next set of plastic targets: mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and the like.

... According to the World Bank, some 242 million tons of plastic waste was produced in 2016 and this waste is projected to grow to 3.4 billion tons in 2050. The World Economic Forum found at least 8 million tons of plastics end up in the ocean annually, and that only 14 percent of plastic packaging material globally is collected for recycling.
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Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2019, 07:44:13 PM »
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 08:32:31 PM by Tom_Mazanec »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2019, 07:52:27 PM »
Wrong link Tom.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2019, 04:56:35 PM »
'I Like Plastic': Pakistan's Toxic 'Love Affair' With Waste
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-plastic-pakistan-toxic-affair.html



From the once pristine rivers of Hindu Kush to the slums of Islamabad, Pakistan is being smothered by plastic due to a lack of public awareness, government inertia, and poor waste management.

Plastic bags are a large part of the problem—the nation uses some 55 billion of them each year, according to the Pakistan Plastic Manufacturers Association.

... In Pakistan there is no cohesive national policy, and regional efforts often fail to consider the importance of educational outreach—with many in rural areas claiming to be unaware of the damage single use plastic can wreak.

"Fighting for the environment? We have no knowledge about that," says salesman Mohammad Tahir, who uses plastic bags to wrap vegetables for his customers.

Plastics swamp the Arabian Sea coastline, where the sewers of the sprawling port city of Karachi spew its waste.

According to the United Nations, single-use plastic bags kill up to one million birds, hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and turtles, along with "countless" fish each year.

And yet in Pakistan, authorities say the amount of plastic used is increasing by 15 percent each year.

Plastic bags have become part of the "culture" in Pakistan, says Nazifa Butt, a researcher with WWF.

"We would never use a cup of tea without a saucer. You will never be sold anything without a plastic bag. It is considered insulting," she adds.

... "I can confiscate all the plastic bags in one hour. But then, what is the alternative?" says Khurshid Alam Mehsud, a district administrative officer in Chitral, who insists more "time" is needed to address the issue.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

DrTskoul

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2019, 05:27:06 PM »
The biggest problem is that they do not have a proper garbage collection system and people throw garbage at the corners of the streets.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2019, 01:38:35 AM »
Ocean plastics field trip for corporate executives:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2400590/ocean-plastic-pollution-soulbuffalo
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2019, 10:06:47 AM »
Plastics everywhere:

US Geological Survey Finds It's Raining Plastic in The Rocky Mountains
JACINTA BOWLER 15 AUG 2019

While a team of researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS) was analysing rainwater samples for nitrogen pollution, they found something they weren't expecting – plastic.

....

In a new report, aptly titled "It is raining plastic", the team explain that plastics were identified in over 90 percent of the rainwater samples they took at eight different sites, most of which are between Denver and Boulder, Colorado.

While it wouldn't be surprising for microplastics to contaminate most sample sites, considering the abundance of plastic in urban locations, some of these sites are remote. One of them, called CO98, is 3,159 metres (10,400 feet) above sea level in the Rocky Mountains. 

...

"However, frequent observation of plastic fibres in washout samples from the remote site CO98 at Loch Vale in Rocky Mountain National Park suggests that wet deposition of plastic is ubiquitous and not just an urban condition."

The team found mostly strands of plastic – they look suspiciously like microfibres from synthetic materials, such as those that make up a lot of clothes. There was also a number of colours - blue was the most common, but red, silver, purple and green were also found.

...

This isn't the first paper to look at microplastics ending up in unexpected environments. A paper published in Nature Geoscience earlier this year found microplastics in the French Pyrenees, and estimated that microplastics could be travelling up to 95 kilometres (60 miles) through the atmosphere.

and more:
https://www.sciencealert.com/us-geological-survey-finds-it-s-raining-plastic-in-the-rocky-mountains

also

Plastic particles falling out of sky with snow in Arctic

Even in the Arctic, microscopic particles of plastic are falling out of the sky with snow, a study has found.

The scientists said they were shocked by the sheer number of particles they found: more than 10,000 of them per litre in the Arctic.

...

The scientists also found rubber particles and fibres in the snow.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49295051

Also discussed in ASI subforum see:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2732.0.html

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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2019, 12:32:20 AM »
Plastic pollution in the ocean physically affects several marine organisms and poisons human food systems. It can also affect larger oceanic processes, speculate a team of researchers.
Plastic on the ocean’s surface can trap sunlight, making the surface warmer and reducing the amount of light and heat traveling to the depths of the ocean.
If plastic litter were to cover the ocean’s surface, it can have ripple effects on marine ecosystems and affect the planet’s climate system, the scientists warn.
https://india.mongabay.com/2019/08/what-would-happen-if-the-oceans-are-completely-covered-with-plastic/
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2019, 01:10:51 AM »
Quote
Replace plastic straws with paper straws, solve some proportion of the problem, right? Yes, if only a tiny share. Straws make up just 0.025 percent of the plastic that finds its way into the ocean each year; the United States, the biggest per capita producer of garbage on Earth, is not even close to the biggest producer of mismanaged plastic waste. On the one hand, straw bans will lead to thousands and thousands of fewer straws in the ocean; on the other hand, straw bans will not change the underlying environmental calculus at all.

Hey, solving 0.025 percent multiplied by four thousand is a big thing. Do a little a lot of times.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/paper-straws-wont-stop-climate-change/596302/
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2019, 07:44:37 PM »
Human-centered plastics recycling interventions can help combat climate change
https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/459732-human-centered-plastics-recycling-interventions-can-help-combat
Quote
Taking these innovative human-centered plastic recycling interventions to scale globally has the potential to slowly begin to reverse climate change and reduce its harmful health effects. However, it would require peer to peer learning, community mobilization and advocacy to policy makers highlighting how recycling plastics would make the world healthier for all. These can be achieved through cross-country collaborations between governments, sharing ideas at conferences and using social media to amplify these human-centered innovations.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2019, 07:47:15 PM »
Is it just a coincidence that a plastics supporter supports shale gas?
AT A REFINERY IN SCOTLAND, A PLASTICS EVANGELIST SAYS U.S. SHALE GAS IS VITAL
https://www.alleghenyfront.org/at-a-refinery-in-scotland-a-plastics-evangelist-says-u-s-shale-gas-is-vital/
Quote
StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Reid Frazier is in Scotland as he follows the Marcellus shale gas overseas. Listen for his reports on the radio beginning Later this month. In the meantime, follow what he’s up to through his occasional dispatches.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2019, 06:44:48 PM »
Mealworms Provide Plastic Solution
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-mealworms-plastic-solution.html
https://phys.org/news/2015-09-plastic-eating-worms-solution-mounting.html

Tiny mealworms may hold part of the solution to our giant plastics problem. Not only are they able to consume various forms of plastic, as previous Stanford research has shown, they can eat Styrofoam containing a common toxic chemical additive and still be safely used as protein-rich feedstock for other animals, according to a new Stanford study published in Environmental Science & Technology.

"This work provides an answer to many people who asked us whether it is safe to feed animals with mealworms that ate Styrofoam", said Wei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer in Stanford's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering who has led or co-authored most of the Stanford studies of plastic-eating mealworms.


Mealworms munch on Styrofoam, a hopeful sign that solutions to plastics pollution exist.

Anja Malawi Brandon et al. The fate of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), a common flame retardant, in polystyrene-degrading mealworms: elevated HBCD levels in egested polymer but no bioaccumulation, Environmental Science & Technology (2019)

"Biodegradation and Mineralization of Polystyrene by Plastic-Eating Mealworms. 1. Chemical and Physical Characterization and Isotopic Tests." Environ. Sci. Technol. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.5b02661

"Biodegradation and Mineralization of Polystyrene by Plastic-Eating Mealworms. 2. Role of Gut Microorganisms." Environ. Sci. Technol. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.5b02663
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2020, 09:55:21 AM »
Why do sea turtles eat ocean plastics? New research points to smell

One week is all it takes for a piece of plastic floating in the ocean to begin to smell like turtle food.

New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that plastics floating in the ocean build a coating of algae and microorganisms that smells edible to turtles. The study, "Odors from marine plastic debris elicit foraging behavior in sea turtles," was published March 9 in the journal Current Biology.

...

The study raises questions about a number of long-term impacts plastics may have on all ocean species, the researchers said.

"In parts of the Pacific Ocean there are huge areas covered with floating plastic debris," Lohmann said. "One concern this study raises is that dense concentrations of plastics may make turtles - or other species - think the area is an abundant source of food. These areas may draw in marine mammals, fish and birds because the area smells like a good foraging ground. Once these plastics are in the ocean, we don't have a good way to remove them or prevent them from smelling like food. The best thing we can do is to keep plastic from getting into the ocean at all."

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-03/uonc-wds030520.php
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kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2020, 01:40:46 PM »
High microplastic concentration found on ocean floor

Scientists have identified the highest levels of microplastics ever recorded on the seafloor.

The contamination was found in sediments pulled from the bottom of the Mediterranean, near Italy.

The analysis, led by the University of Manchester, found up to 1.9 million plastic pieces per square metre.

These items likely included fibres from clothing and other synthetic textiles, and tiny fragments from larger objects that had broken down over time.

The researchers' investigations lead them to believe that microplastics (smaller than 1mm) are being concentrated in specific locations on the ocean floor by powerful bottom currents.

"These currents build what are called drift deposits; think of underwater sand dunes," explained Dr Ian Kane, who fronted the international team.

"They can be tens of kilometres long and hundreds of metres high. They are among the largest sediment accumulations on Earth. They're made predominantly of very fine silt, so it's intuitive to expect microplastics will be found within them," he told BBC News.

...

Media headlines have focussed on the great aggregations of debris that float in gyres or wash up with the tides on coastlines.

But this visible trash is thought to represent just 1% of the marine plastic budget. The exact whereabouts of the other 99% is unknown.

Some of it has almost certainly been consumed by sea creatures, but perhaps the much larger proportion has fragmented and simply sunk.

...

There is nothing atypical about the study area in the Tyrrhenian basin between Italy, Corsica and Sardinia.

Many other parts of the globe have strong deep-water currents that are driven by temperature and salinity contrasts. The issue of concern will be that these currents also supply oxygen and nutrients to deep-sea creatures. And so by following the same route, the microplastics could be settling into biodiversity hotspots, increasing the chance of ingestion by marine life.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52489126
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kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2020, 01:21:28 PM »
Pollution: Birds 'ingesting hundreds of bits of plastic a day'

Birds living on river banks are ingesting plastic at the rate of hundreds of tiny fragments a day, according to a new study.

Scientists say this is the first clear evidence that plastic pollutants in rivers are finding their way into wildlife and moving up the food chain.

Pieces of plastic 5mm or smaller (microplastics), including polyester, polypropylene and nylon, are known to pollute rivers.

The impacts on wildlife are unclear.

Researchers at Cardiff University looked at plastic pollutants found in a bird known as a dipper, which wades or dives into rivers in search of underwater insects.

"These iconic birds, the dippers, are ingesting hundreds of pieces of plastic every day," said Prof Steve Ormerod of Cardiff University's Water Research Institute. "They're also feeding this material to their chicks."

Previous research has shown that half of the insects in the rivers of south Wales contain microplastic fragments.

"The fact that so many river insects are contaminated makes it inevitable that fish, birds and other predators will pick up these polluted prey - but this is the first time that this type of transfer through food webs has been shown clearly in free-living river animals," said co-researcher Dr Joseph D'Souza.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52762120
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nanning

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2020, 03:18:14 AM »
Microplastic pollution in oceans vastly underestimated – study

   Particles may outnumber zooplankton, which underpin marine life and regulate climate

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/22/microplastic-pollution-in-oceans-vastly-underestimated-study
  by Damian Carrington


 Excerpts:
The abundance of microplastic pollution in the oceans is likely to have been vastly underestimated, according to research that suggests there are at least double the number of particles as previously thought.

Scientists trawled waters off the coasts of the UK and US and found many more particles using nets with a fine mesh size than when using coarser ones usually used to filter microplastics. The addition of these smaller particles to global estimates of surface microplastics increases the range from between 5tn and 50tn particles to 12tn-125tn particles, the scientists say.

“The estimate of marine microplastic concentration could currently be vastly underestimated,” said Prof Pennie Lindeque, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK, who led the research.
She said there may well be even smaller particles than those caught by the fine mesh nets, meaning the numbers “could be even larger again”.

Another new study shows how microplastics have entered the food chain in rivers, with [river-] birds found to be consuming hundreds of particles a day via the aquatic insects on which they feed.

They found that the birds, which feed on river insects, were eating about 200 pieces of plastic a day. These were mostly fibres, and a quarter were larger than 500 microns.

The team also found that the dippers [Cinclus cinclus] were feeding thousands of plastic fibres to their nest-bound chicks during their development. Previous research by the scientists had shown that half of the river insects contain microplastic fragments
.

Microplastic pollution has contaminated the whole planet, from Arctic snow and mountain soils to many rivers and the deepest oceans. It is also being consumed and inhaled by people, and the health impacts are as yet unknown.

The particles were dominated by fibres from textiles such as ropes, nets and clothing.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

paolo

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2020, 07:43:31 PM »
First evidence of plastic fallout from the North Pacific Garbage Patch
Matthias Egger, Fatimah Sulu-Gambari & Laurent Lebreton

Abstract
The infamous garbage patches on the surface of subtropical oceanic gyres are proof that plastic is polluting the ocean on an unprecedented scale. The fate of floating plastic debris ‘trapped’ in these gyres, however, remains largely unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence for the vertical transfer of plastic debris from the North Pacific Garbage Patch (NPGP) into the underlying deep sea. The numerical and mass concentrations of plastic fragments (500 μm to 5    cm in size) suspended in the water column below the NPGP follow a power law decline with water depth, reaching values <0.001 pieces/m3and <0.1  μg/m3 in the deep sea. The plastic particles in the NPGP water column are mostly in the size range of particles that are apparently missing from the ocean surface and the polymer composition of plastic in the NPGP water column is similar to that of floating debris circulating in its surface waters (i.e. dominated by polyethylene and polypropylene). Our results further reveal a positive correlation between the amount of plastic debris at the sea surface and the depth-integrated concentrations of plastic fragments in the water column. We therefore conclude that the presence of plastics in the water column below the NPGP is the result of ‘fallout’ of small plastic fragments from its surface waters.

Nature, ScientificReports (2020) Open Access
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-64465-8

kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2020, 03:58:27 PM »
More than 1000 tons of plastic rains into Western US protected lands annually

Microplastic particles and fibers spiral through the Earth system, accumulating even in protected wilderness areas and national parks in the western US

Utah State University Assistant Professor Janice Brahney and her team used high-resolution atmospheric deposition data and identified samples of microplastics and other particulates collected over 14 months in 11 national parks and wilderness areas. The researchers identified plastic and polymers' composition to identify sources of plastic emitted into the atmosphere and track its movement and fallout. The findings are reported in the June 12 issue of Science Magazine in the article, Plastic Rain in Protected Areas of the United States.

"We were shocked at the estimated deposition rates and kept trying to figure out where our calculations went wrong," Brahney said. "We then confirmed through 32 different particle scans that roughly 4% of the atmospheric particles analyzed from these remote locations were synthetic polymers."

...

The study examined the source and life history of both wet (rain) and dry microplastic deposition. Cities and population centers were found to serve as the initial source of plastics associated with wet deposition, but secondary sources included the redistribution of microplastics re-entrained from soils or surface waters.

In contrast, dry deposition of plastics showed indicators of long-range transport and was associated with large-scale atmospheric patterns. This suggests that microplastics are small enough to be entrained in the atmosphere for cross-continental transport.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200611151417.htm
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kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2020, 02:22:27 PM »
Plants Can Absorb Tiny Pieces Of Plastic Into Their Roots

...

Reported in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, researchers led by Shandong University in China and the University of Massachusetts Amherst planted Arabidopsis thaliana, a much-studied weed also known as thale cress, in soil that contained minuscule pieces of plastics smaller than 100 nanometres and compared it to plants grown in normal soil.

After seven weeks of growth, the plants that were exposed to nanoplastics were found to be shorter in height and lower in biomass.

"Nanoplastics reduced the total biomass of model plants," Baoshan Xing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst said in a statement.  "They were smaller and the roots were much shorter. If you reduce the biomass, it's not good for the plant, yield is down and the nutritional value of crops may be compromised."

Before being placed in the soil, the nanoplastics were either positively or negatively charged, as well as given a fluorescent marking so the researchers could track their whereabouts. A number of analysis techniques were then used to show the nanoplastics had been taken up by the plants’ roots. 

"We found that the positively charged particles were not taken up so much, but they are more harmful to the plant. We don't know exactly why, but it's likely that the positively charged nanoplastics interact more with water, nutrients, and roots, and triggered different sets of gene expression,” said Xing. “That needs to be explored further in crop plants in the environment. Until then, we don't know how it may affect crop yield and food crop safety."

...

This is the first study to look at the effect of nanoplastics on terrestrial plants, so there is still much to learn. Even on the wider subject of nanoplastics in general, not a huge amount is known, although increasing evidence is starting to show these microscopic particles are a major problem throughout the planet’s natural environments.

A study published in 2017 found that “nanoplastics” can accumulate in fish brains and potentially cause strange alterations in behavior that make the fish less likely to survive.

https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/plants-can-absorb-tiny-pieces-of-plastic-into-thier-roots/
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kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2020, 08:49:37 AM »
Plastic pollution to weigh 1.3 billion tonnes by 2040

An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of plastic is destined for our environment - both on land and in the ocean - by 2040, unless worldwide action is taken.

That's according to a global model of the scale of the plastic problem over the next 20 years.

Dr Costas Velis from the University of Leeds said the number was "staggering" but that we had "the technology and the opportunity to stem the tide".

The report is published in the journal Science.

"This is the first comprehensive assessment of what the picture could be in 20 years' time," Dr Velis explained. "It's difficult to picture an amount that large, but if you could imagine laying out all that plastic across a flat surface, it would cover the area of the UK 1.5 times.

"It's complex [to calculate] becayse plastic is everywhere and, in every part of the world, it's different in terms of how it's used and dealt with."

...

Steps the researchers called for included:

reducing growth in plastic production and consumption
substituting plastic with paper and compostable materials
designing products and packaging for recycling
expanding waste collection rates in middle/low-income countries and supporting the "informal collection" sector
building facilities to dispose of the 23% of plastic that cannot be recycled economically, as a transitional measure
reduce plastic waste exports
But even if "all feasible action" was taken, Dr Velis explained, the model showed there would be 710 million extra tonnes of plastic waste in the environment in the next two decades.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53521001
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kassy

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Re: Consequences of using plastics
« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2020, 05:09:06 PM »
Autopsies Find Microplastics in All Major Organs

Microscopic bits of plastic have most likely taken up residence in all of the major filtering organs in your body, a new lab study suggests.

Researchers found evidence of plastic contamination in tissue samples taken from the lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys of donated human cadavers.

"We have detected these chemicals of plastics in every single organ that we have investigated," said senior researcher Rolf Halden, director of the Arizona State University (ASU) Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering.

There's long been concern that the chemicals in plastics could have a wide range of health effects ranging from diabetes and obesity to sexual dysfunction and infertility.

But the presence of these microscopic particles in major organs also raises the potential that they could act as carcinogenic irritants in much the same way as asbestos, Halden explained.

"It is not always necessarily the chemistry that harms us. Sometimes it's the shape and the presence of foreign particles in our bodies,"
Halden said. "We know the inhalation of asbestos leads to inflammation and that can be followed by cancer."

Previous research has shown that, on average, people ingest about 5 grams of plastic every week, the equivalent of a credit card, said Dianna Cohen, CEO of the nonprofit Plastic Pollution Coalition.

"It's heartening to see quality quantitative research being performed on humans to assess the cumulative harmful effects of these microplastics," Cohen said of the new study. "On the other hand, it's totally depressing to see what the scientific advisers in our field have been warning us all about for so long regarding plastic consumption."

...

The researchers were specifically looking for the presence of particles so small that they could transfer from the digestive system into the bloodstream, where they would "circulate with the blood flow and get hung up in filtration organs like the lungs or the kidneys or the liver," Halden explained.

The team developed a procedure to extract microplastics from the tissue samples, then analyzed them using a technique called spectrometry.

Microplastics are plastic fragments less than 5 millimeters in diameter, or about 0.2 inches, barely visible to the human eye. The researchers also were looking for nanoplastic particles, with a diameter of 1 micron or 0.001 mm. A human hair has a diameter of about 50 microns.

and more on:
https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/microplastics-pollution/2020/08/17/id/982452/

Consuming ourselves to death...
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