Thongchai Thailand

PLASTIC POLLUTION #2

Posted on: December 24, 2020

Protecting the oceans against plastic pollution

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE EUROPEAN SCIENCE ARTICLE OF 12/24/2020 THAT THE OCEAN AND THE PLANET ARE ENDANGERED BY HUMANS DUMPING 8 MILLION TONNES OF PLASTIC INTO THE OCEAN EVERY YEAR. LINK TO SOURCE: https://sciencemediahub.eu/2019/01/16/plastisphere-the-oceans-of-plastic/

France is banning plastic cups and dishes. Why not do this in Ireland? -  Green News Ireland

PART 1: WHAT THE EUROPEAN SCIENCE ARTICLE SAYS

The Oceans of Plastics – Plastisphere: A new term for the marine environment

Every minute, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic waste enters the oceans. Plastic pollution is so ubiquitous that scientists have coined a new term for the marine environment: the PLASTISPHERE – AN OCEAN OF PLASTIC. For the last few years, the plastic crisis is making news headlines around the world. The plastic problem in the oceans and seas is so severe that the United Nations called it a ‘planetary crisis that is ruining marine ecosystems around the world. A total of 8 million (metric) tons a year of plastic pollution is dumped into the ocean every year by humans. This pollution litters the seafloor and floats on the surface in vast plastic patches, poisoning seabirds and other marine life. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds will be banned in the EU under plans provisionally agreed between the European Parliament and Council on 19 December 2018. Europe now has a legislative model to defend and promote at international level, given the global nature of the issue of marine pollution involving plastics. This is essential for the planet and this is what millions of concerned Europeans are asking us to do.

The precise danger of microplastics in the deep ocean: Plastic pollution has even reached the deep seas. The biggest issue is the creation of a new habitat where there was none before. The open ocean gyres are the equivalent of deserts in terms of life so adding a substrate with a nice nutrient-rich biofilm changes this deeply. We do not understand what the domino effect will be. In the deep sea, microplastics become a food source for organisms large enough to ingest it. And so the same issues regarding microplastics biomagnifying up the food chain apply here as elsewhere in the water column. Organisms and animals on the sea floor are also ingesting microplastics. The result astonished me. Plastic pollution has reached the ends of the Earth.

We estimate up to 14 million tonnes of microplastics lie on the seafloor.  It's worse than we thought

THE MISSING PLASTIC PROBLEM


Scientists also trying to solve the so-called ‘missing plastic problem’. In the TOPIOS project, they are creating state-of-the-art hydrodynamic ocean models able to track the movement of plastic through the ocean. We know that the plastic floating on the surface of the ocean represents only a very small percentage of the total amount of plastic going in to the oceans every year. This means that as much as 99 % of ocean plastic is missing: we don’t know exactly where it is or what damage it is doing. We must reduce the use of plastics.

The Dutch Ocean Cleanup initiative extracts plastic from a giant garbage patch in the Pacific. Although the approach has its merits, it also raises questions because we should stop the pollution and not pollute and then clean up. The EU policy is to reduce the use of plastics 25% by 2025, and to stimulate the collection and recycling beverage packaging severely. In May 2013, Canadian entrepreneur David Katz founded The Plastic Bank to tackle the plastic crisis with a combination of two components: individual financial incentives, and modern technology. Much of the plastic originates in underdeveloped countries with minimal waste management infrastructure, where citizens often survive on less than a dollar a day. I realized we had to challenge our perception of plastic, and make it too valuable to simply throw it away into a river or stream. The Plastic Bank encourages citizens of poor countries like Haiti and the Philippines to collect plastic waste and deliver it to local processing centers,

Trends in Solid Waste Management

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. MASS BALANCE AGAINST FISH: WITH AND WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF THE “MISSING PLASTIC” ISSUE: THE WEIGHT OF ALL THAT WATER IN THE OCEAN IS 1.4E18 TONNES. THERE ARE 2E9 TONNES OF FISH IN THE OCEAN. IF HUMANS DUMP 8 MILLION TONNES OF PLASTIC INTO THE OCEAN EACH YEAR EVERY YEAR, IT WILL TAKE THE HUMANS 250 YEARS OF CONTINUOUS DUMPING AT THIS RATE TO BREAK EVEN WITH THE WEIGHT OF FISH WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF THE MISSING PLASTIC ISSUE. WHEN WE CONSIDER THE MISSING PLASTIC ISSUE WHERE OCEAN BIOTA ARE ALLOWED TO EAT MICROPLASTICS, IT WILL TAKE 25,000 YEARS TO BREAK EVEN WITH THE WEIGHT OF FISH IN THE OCEAN.
  2. MASS BALANCE AGAINST THE OCEAN: WITH AND WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF THE “MISSING PLASTIC” ISSUE: THE WEIGHT OF ALL THAT WATER IN THE OCEAN IS 1.4E18 TONNES. THERE IS 2E9 TONNES OF FISH IN THE OCEAN. IF HUMANS DUMP 8 MILLION TONNES OF PLASTIC INTO THE OCEAN EACH YEAR EVERY YEAR, IT WILL TAKE THE HUMANS 1.75 BILLION YEARS OF CONTINUOUS DUMPING AT THIS RATE TO PUT ENOUGH PLASTIC INTO THE OCEAN WHERE THE WEIGHT OF PLASTIC REACHES 1% OF THE WEIGHT OF THE OCEAN WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF THE MISSING PLASTIC ISSUE. WHEN WE CONSIDER THE MISSING PLASTIC ISSUE WHERE OCEAN BIOTA ARE ALLOWED TO EAT MICROPLASTICS, IT WILL TAKE US 175 BILLION YEARS TO PUT ENOUGH PLASTIC INTO THE OCEAN WHERE THE WEIGHT OF PLASTIC REACHES 1% OF THE WEIGHT OF THE OCEAN.

HUMANS HAVE OVERESTIMATED THEMSELVES. THERE IS NO ANTHRO-POCENE BECAUSE THE ANTHROS AND ALL THEIR ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIVITIES ARE INSIGNIFICANT ON A PLANETARY SCALE. IN TERMS OF TOTAL WEIGHT THERE ARE 4 TIMES AS MUCH FISH IN THE WORLD AS HUMANS. FOR THE WEIGHT OF ALL THE HUMANS ON EARTH TO REACH 1% OF THE WEIGHT OF THE OCEAN OUR POPULATION WOULD HAVE TO MULTIPLY BY A FACTOR OF 200,000.

OUR ILLUSORY AND EXAGGERATED SELF IMAGE LIKELY DERIVES FROM THE BIBLE WHERE GOD HAD GIVEN MAN DOMINION OVER NATURE. THE REALITY IS VERY DIFFERENT. WE DON’T EVEN HAVE DOMINION OVER THE MONKEYS.

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