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Climate Change & The Environment Discuss Plastic pollution at the General Discussion; Granny say she glad she ain't the one to have to clean it up... Remote island has 'world's worst' plastic ...

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Old 05-16-2017, 12:30 PM
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Angry Plastic pollution

Granny say she glad she ain't the one to have to clean it up...

Remote island has 'world's worst' plastic rubbish density
Tue, 16 May 2017 - The uninhabited Pacific island is littered with 37.7 million pieces of plastic debris, scientists say.
An uninhabited island in the South Pacific is littered with the highest density of plastic waste anywhere in the world, according to a study. Henderson Island, part of the UK's Pitcairn Islands group, has an estimated 37.7 million pieces of debris on its beaches. The island is near the centre of an ocean current, meaning it collects much rubbish from boats and South America. Researchers hope people will "rethink their relationship with plastic". The joint Australian and British study said the rubbish amounted to 671 items per square metre and a total of 17 tonnes. "A lot of the items on Henderson Island are what we wrongly refer to as disposable or single-use," said Dr Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania.

Henderson Island is part of the UK's Pitcairn Islands group

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, described how remote islands act as a "sink" for the world's rubbish. In addition to fishing items, Henderson Island was strewn with everyday things including toothbrushes, cigarette lighters and razors. "Land crabs are making their homes inside bottle caps, containers and jars," Dr Lavers told the BBC. "At first it looks a little bit cute, but it's not. This plastic is old, it's sharp, it's brittle and toxic." A large number of hard hats of "every shape, colour and size" were also discovered, the marine scientist said.

Scale of waste

Henderson Island is listed by Unesco as a coral atoll with a relatively unique ecology, notable for 10 plant and four bird species. It is 190km (120 miles) from Pitcairn Island, about 5,000km from Chile, and sits near the centre of the South Pacific Gyre - a massive rotating current. The condition of the island highlighted how plastic debris has affected the environment on a global scale, Dr Lavers said. "Almost every island in the world and almost every species in the ocean is now being shown to be impacted one way or another by our waste," she said. "There's not really any one person or any one country that gets a free pass on this."

She said plastic was devastating to oceans because it was buoyant and durable. The research was conducted by the University of Tasmania's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, and the Centre for Conservation Science at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Remote island has 'world's worst' plastic rubbish density - BBC News
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:25 PM
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Angry Re: Plastic pollution

Most Ocean Plastic Pollution Comes from just 10 Rivers...

Most Ocean Plastic Pollution Carried by 10 Rivers
November 24, 2017 — The equivalent of one garbage truck full of plastic waste is dumped into the world’s oceans every minute, equal to 8 million tons a year. New research suggests that 90 percent of that waste gets into the oceans through 10 major river systems.
“It seems that larger rivers preferentially transport plastic and these are rivers with a large population. You could reduce river plastic loads tremendously by focusing on these 10 rivers,” lead researcher Christian Schmidt of Germany’s Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, told VOA. Two of the rivers are in Africa - the Nile and the Niger – while the remaining eight are in Asia – the Ganges, Indus, Yellow, Yangtze, Haihe, Pearl, Mekong and Amur. Researchers analyzed studies that examined the plastic pollution load in rivers, and compared the figures to the quantity of waste that is not disposed of properly in each river catchment or watershed.

The Government's Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and environmentalists from Greenpeace survey the polluted Pasig River to track plastic waste to draw attention to the hazards of plastics and waste which clog rivers and tributaries in San Juan

The results suggest reducing waste in those rivers would go a long way to tackling ocean plastic pollution. “Actually, it’s very simple. You have to improve waste management, particularly in developing countries with rapid economic growth. So, this is a waste management problem there. But globally, ((it’s)) not exclusively developing countries. Littering is the other source of river plastics, countries like Germany,” says Schmidt.

The ecological consequences of oceanic plastic pollution are difficult to foresee, but scientists are clear that it is already deeply affecting marine life. So-called microplastics – found in cosmetics - are often mistaken for food. One recent study by the University of Ghent in Belgium calculated that humans eat up to 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year. “The microbeads, they might be more harmful for aquatic life, but the larger pieces, over time they are brittle and form a secondary source of microplastics,” according to Schmidt.

Afroz Shah, in black, participates in a clean up drive with school children at the Versova beach on the Arabian Sea coast in Mumbai, India

It is estimated that 5 percent of plastic is recycled effectively. Total global plastic production was 322 million tons in 2015, a figure that is expected to quadruple by 2050. Schmidt and his colleagues hope their research offers a potential focus for cleanup programs.

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