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View Diary: Plastic Island: Twice the Size of Texas & Growing (298 comments)

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  •  Agreed the size estimates are uncertain (1+ / 0-)
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    Leftcandid

    I merely went with the smaller accepted figure so as not to be accused of hyperbole.

    I don't see where I imply the U.S. is to blame. Can you find that statement?

    I have spent over 3 years living in Asia and understand the hyper-capitalism there much better than most Americans. The breakneck development has left them largely unable to close the loop.

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing.

    by LaughingPlanet on Thu Apr 09, 2009 at 06:14:29 PM PDT

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    •  This is the quote: (0+ / 0-)

      How & why did this happen? Well, in part it's because

      The annual production of plastic resin in the United States has roughly doubled in the past 20 years, from nearly 60 billion pounds in 1987 to an estimated 120 billion pounds in 2007, according to a study by the American Chemistry Council, which represents the nation's largest plastic and chemical manufacturers.

      I'm not completely sure what you mean by "this" in "how did this happen." You may have meant the increased use of plastic shopping bags and not plastics more broadly finding their way in the ocean, but either way it's not clear.

      Ironic points of light flash out/Wherever the Just exchange their messages. -W.H. Auden

      by Crypsis on Thu Apr 09, 2009 at 06:20:05 PM PDT

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      •  Note the "IN PART" part (0+ / 0-)

        And also the fact that I realize the majority of people who will read dKos are here in the U.S. and I'm hoping that we realize our part in this whether it's a large or medium role.

        Again, few Americans understand Asia's obsession with disposables more personally than myself.

        The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing.

        by LaughingPlanet on Thu Apr 09, 2009 at 07:59:42 PM PDT

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      •  If I may comment (0+ / 0-)

        I agree you can't extract reliable figures on plastic bags from this reference.

        Some are domesticly produced and some imported, so you must put data together from various sources but reliable estimates for the oil consumed for global bag production are 1.6 billion barels per year.

        Before enacting the ban in China last year, Chinese estimates based on domestic production (some of which is exported) was equivelent to 37 million barrels or oil (2007).

        A lot of production is in poorer nations with less relaible statistics, so actual is likely to be higher not lower.

        Is it enough?

        What happens when you repace that with natural fibers (or recyled plastic) for durable bags and managed forest paper with high recycled content (in Japan it must be at least 70%)?

        There are already enough sucess stories to prove alternatives work and dramatic reduction is possible.

        From there, we get to the issue of motivation and political will to do so.

        Good solutions already exist.

        Let's be positive here; instead of debating who consumes how much and where it goes, how about how to change and what's in it for everyone?

        Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

        by koNko on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 12:26:41 AM PDT

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