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    Drowning In Plastic 
    #1
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    Drowning In Plastic




    This is possibly the most depressing TV documentary I've ever seen.

    The unimaginable quantity of plastic pollution they reveal in rivers, oceans, and blocking the insides of animals, starving them and poisoning them with leaching chemicals, is just mindblowing.

    I think most people are starting to understand just how bad and urgent the problem is, but this in-depth documentation of the plastic problem and various issues surrounding it is sobering to say the least.

    Since it's a BBC programme, I think most will need a VPN set to the UK (or a broswer VPN) and a fake post code (just google UK postcodes) to watch it. Otherwise *cough* torrent *cough*.

    Watch some clips (click)


    Link to programme:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bmbn47
    Last edited by CFC; 02-10-2018 at 10:38.
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    I can't watch it but someone enterprising will eventually put it on youtube. Just curious your take on the problem, because yes, disposable plastics are a problem, but growing up in the United States in the 1970s and 80s, I remember when the litter problem was truly horrendous - it was mostly styrofoam, metal and glass back then. But I remember as a kid the sides of highways were just covered in litter. Then there came the nonstop barrage of PSA ads, stiff penalties for littering, and fast food restaurants being shamed into stopping the use of styrofoam, and the trash on the sides of the road eventually disappeared. A handful of US states charge deposits on drink bottles and cans, and if you want your nickel back (dime if you live in Michigan), you're not going to chuck your drink can out the car window because I've lived in a couple of deposit states and that adds up quick. And I've been making concerted effort at recycling, even when it wasn't easy, in the early 1990s, as a uni student. In most US municipalities, recycling has been made extremely easy. We don't even have to sort it anymore in Orlando. Just throw anything recyclable all into the same bin. And Orlando has also been giving out free backyard composters to anyone who wants one. We can also pick up a tree at no cost several times during the year. Whenever I kayak, I take a trash bag with me and I was fishing an aluminum can out of some weeds and it was a pop top can probably from the 1970s (I don't remember seeing pop tops much past 1980) of Busch Beer, the logo still somewhat recognizable. Don't get me wrong, I think we still have a long uphill battle and it makes me cringe every time I see someone coming out of the grocery with 20 plastics bags worth of stuff (while I'm walking in with my Kennedy Space Center bags made from recycled plastic bottles) but from my perspective, we have come a long way. And even the plastic bags are now easily recycled at the grocery entrance. And here in Florida where we basically have no topography, it's been interesting to see former landfills repurposed as "hills" for a variety of recreational pursuits.
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    I think good habits can definitely be picked up, and we could all drastically reduce our use of disposable plastics. We could also recycle a lot more and improve incentives to do so. But the biggest problem we face today is that of large transnational corporations increasingly resorting to plastics on every rung of the production and distribution process, for a variety of reasons including convenience but most importantly profit.

    The other issue, which virtually nobody seems to grasp, is that of microplastics. For example every time you do a synthetics wash at home, you release about 700,000 pieces of microplastic into the water system > rivers > ocean. That type of plastic gets absorbed in the smallest creatures and gradually works its way up the food chain not only to fish and whales but also to humans, since we eat them. And those plastics can also leech a variety of noxious chemicals, many of which we're only just starting to understand.

    Definitely watch the docu if you can. It goes into the problems way better than I can - from lobster fishing killing whales and other sea mammals, to countries in the developing world like Indonesia which release tens of millions of tons of plastics into the oceans every year due to a complete absence of waste collection or recycling.
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    I did a bit of googling after seeing your post and the issue of microplastics is quite alarming. I was reading the North Pacific Garbage Patch wouldn't even be apparent to a boater or even diver in the middle of it because the problem is microplastics. It looks like research is being done on how to get these microplastics to congeal to a size where they can then be removed without also removing the sea life.

    It's easy to point fingers at the third world but I never felt so wasteful as I did in Peru. Barely anything is discarded there. On trash day every house has one, maybe two, plastic shopping bags worth of refuse out at the curb where I was putting out multiple 13 gallon kitchen bags out every week when I was married. Since resuming the bachelor life, it takes me maybe 2-3 weeks to fill up one of those bags since I also recycle everything that can be recycled.
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    This is probably a really stupid idea, right but is there a possibility that plastic can be filtered back out and somehow made into floating "sea ice" so the polar bears can at least have a stop off to the sea ice up north, where it's all melted?


    I mean may as well give it a shot.
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    #6
    it surprises me how many aussies aren't mentioning the traffic jam of plastic to the east of you. (i expect americans not to know of it)

    it's where the currents of the oceans meet, it's disgusting and has been there for years.

    what is wrong with people. we need to stop wasting (reduce), start recycling (recycle) or start using it as a party island (reuse).

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    Given the vast quantities of plastic already in the ground and oceans, and the fact that every piece of plastic ever made is still in the environment (aside from that incinerated), I think it may already be too late to just reduce our use of plastic. I think we may need to hurry up creating more plastic-eating enzymes and plastic eating bacteria.

    It could mean the end of plastic as we know it, since eventually the bacteria would get everywhere and most products made of plastics would start to decay or at least have a shorter lifespan. But we already have non-plastic options for most things; this would just force our hands.
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    #8
    that's it; i'm moving to koffin, uganda.

    where the people in the know have the know and are the know instead of wishing for the know.
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    We'll all be in a koffin soon - what uganda do abou tit?

    I think there's a good chance an eco-"terrorist" (is that still a thing?) will get hold of some bacteria (if they ever produce a really virulent strain) and release it, at some point.
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    That's to the East of Australia. Who cares about that coast its shit anyway lol
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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by invegauser View Post
    that's it; i'm moving to koffin, uganda.
    Say hi to Idi Amin
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