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

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  •  The trick is minimizing the collateral damage (0+ / 0-)

    to the ocean life that intermingles with the trash.

    Although it will probably mostly die off in that area eventually, anyway.

    So sad...

    A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them. - Randall Munroe xkcd

    by Mountain Don on Thu Apr 09, 2009 at 11:53:33 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I Think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I will agree with your second assessment, that the ocean life will mostly die off, with some living in some sort of equilibrium which is drastically different from the one before. Given the magnitude of the devestation, I don't think there is possibly any "trick" to minimizing the collateral damage anymore.

      In a sense though it's probably better that the material is concentrated into certain areas by nature. The devestation and poisoning is more "local", and when future generations figure out the technology and do want to clean it up it would be far, far easier.

      •  Technology isn't a problem I think, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        subtropolis, sesquioxide

        not to get the stuff from where it is now to somewhere else.

        You need a dredge, an Archimedean screw would probably work fine, a shredder to cut the solids into smaller peices, some sieves and filters to separate the water from the solid matter and a compactor to reduce the volume. Then you need a few mammoth tankers to tranport it to a facility where it can be separated and recycled. Considering the volume, it would be an ongoing operation for a few decades, a plastic mine in the middle of the ocean so to speak. If oil prices go up enough, it might even be economically feasable.

        Obama 2008: Hope Obama 2012: Confidence

        by Calouste on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 03:11:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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