Plastic, or food?

by EcoStreet on February 7, 2011

in Climate Change, Conservation, Sustainable Lifestyle, Toxic World

A close up of an ocean sample from the North Atlantic Gyre (slow rotating whirlpools in which plastic trash can accumulate), showing both pieces of plastic and zooplankton. You’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. Fish and other marine organisms often can’t.

We currently recover only 5% of the plastics we produce. What happens to the rest of it? Roughly 50% is buried in landfills, some is remade into durable goods, and much of it remains “unaccounted for”, lost in the environment where it ultimately washes out to sea.

[iframe http://player.vimeo.com/video/13438424 400 300]

Plastic, or food? from 5 Gyres on Vimeo.

Find out about the 5 Gyres, their research results and learn how you can get involved in saving our seas.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Warmcast February 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

Is there supposed to be a video??
I can’t see it.

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Administrator February 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Thank you for pointing this out Warmcast. We’ve fixed the problem and you can now see the video :-)

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devrim February 8, 2011 at 2:22 am

It is so sad to think that all these unaccounted plastics end up lost in the environment polluting the world more every day. In the last decade we used to use materials like glass or paper that would recycle; they were not meant to stay on the surface forever like plastics. Some producers use recycled plastics, or corn based materials that are biodegradable. The problem is that these packaging materials are more expensive, that’s why they are not as common as the cheap plastics that are full of BPA and last forever.

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Jacqui MacNeill (Escents Aromatherapy Essential Oils) February 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm

That is really worrisome. It’s time to get the world’s plastic problems under control!

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Jean February 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I appreciate the article to bring awareness to this topic. We should utilize anything that is reusable. From food containers to canvas grocery bags.

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Online eco store March 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

It is shocking that governments all think that this is acceptable behaviour! So much unaccounted for waste, and I expect they just see it as savings to landfill…. it’s so infuriating!!

There was a spoof documentary about the journey of a plastic bag – done as if the plastic bag were an animal, which cleverly showed where most of them ended up – i think it was one of the TED lectures? Worth a look.

Meanwhile I suppose we try and get people to bring their bags…

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Jane June 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm

A really simple way to correct this problem is by simply banning the use of plastic bags at retail stores. On a happier note, I ran into Target the other day to buy toothpaste and since I had my own canvas bag with me I was given a 5 cent discount. Not much, but it is a start.

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Sam May 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Recycling really isn’t as hard as it used to be. The only hard part about recycling plastic is knowing what types of plastic your local recycle compound will and won’t take. However, even that is a small inconvenience when it comes to the health of our environment.

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