Hi folks- welcome to my blog. It's less bloggy than most, it's more of a tool for looking up information on PLASTICS, especially as related to marine debris. Plastics have become a big problem for the planet because there is SO MUCH of it and it doesn't go away... ever. Over time it gets brittle and breaks apart into smaller and smaller pieces, but the strong synthetic plastic polymers continue to exist. The oceans are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon because the cold water and lack of bacteria make it even more difficult for breakdown to occur.
Maybe by now you have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area roughly 2 times the size of Texas in the middle of the N Pacific Subtropical Gyre which is becoming a plastic soup. It's a sad state of affairs, but fixable in that all we have to do, I mean ALLLLLL of us, is be more sensible in our habits and consumer choices. Bring Your Own Bags to the grocery store; Bring Your Own Mug to the cafe; choose less packaged products when possible. It's doable, for a worthwhile cause...
Poke around below to find out more.

Nurdles (pre-production plastic pellets)

Nurdles (pre-production plastic pellets)
Manufacturers need to be responsible for cleaning up their own spills

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

This photo from a 1955 Life magazine article called "Throwaway Living"

Check out the photo... makes you wanna go "WOOHOO!!" (though actually BOOHOO is more appropriate)
Seemed like a good idea at the time. Fewer dishes to wash. The 1950's, a post WWII time of phenomenal growth in this country, hand in hand with growth came the mass production of single-use disposable plastics. And why not-- just throw the junk away.

Problem with "throwaway" though, 50 years later- there is no more "away." Too many people and too much stuff. A friend of mine is a lighthouse keeper in Oregon. He often finds garbage on the beach with Japanese and Chinese lettering. It's a slow float away to the other side of the Pacific. There is probably someone now standing on the shores of Hokkaido, Japan wondering when the Frito's bag that just washed up was tossed from an American picnic.

Think about it - every plastic fork, knife, spoon, cup, plate and tray in this picture continues to exist, and will do so for the next... ohhhh.... 500-1,000 years. Teaching children to cross the street we say
We need to do similar - 1,000 years of floating around the ocean for a plastic knife to make a ham and mayo sandwich -

Here is the lowdown, the nutshell, the basics, the boiled down nuggets as I wrote them for the presentation. This is a handout essentially, yup.

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