Skip to main content

plastic-bottles

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing every day. Also known as the Pacific Gyre, this is one of the most godforsaken places on earth

where plastic to sea life ratios are 6:1; where birds and mammals are dying of starvation and dehydration with bellies full of plastics; where  fish are ingesting toxins at such a rate that soon they will no longer be safe to eat.


Note:

A few commenters have taken issue with the posted images. This image was not taken at sea; read up on the GPGP to learn that it's composed or "nurdles" & the like which together form the toxic "soup" in the ocean. I suggest thinking more holistically if we are to comprehend the bigger picture of our man-made disasters.

(Cross-posted @ The Laughing Planet)

How big does this behemoth need to get before we begin hearing more about it?

Greenpeace estimates that 10% of the plastics manufactured every year ultimately ends up in the GPGP. Also,

It has been estimated that over a million sea-birds and one hundred thousand marine mammals and sea turtles are killed each year by ingestion of plastics or entanglement.

mn_mammoth

And it's not merely animals that are affected. Humans ultimately eat these toxins.

Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, or nurdles – the raw materials for the plastic industry – are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea. These pollutants act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT. They then enter the food chain. "What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate. It's that simple"

Bill Maher mentioned it on his show this season, but the way it was mentioned seemed as if it was a 1st for him despite the fact that scientists predicted the GPGP as early as the 1980s.

If you are a regular here and have heard little to nothing about this story, you likely are not alone. Even a liberal bastion such as dKos shockingly returns zero previous results when I click on the 1st 2 tags of this diary.

Captain Charles Moore, the American oceanographer who discovered the GPGP, speaking about plastics (Embed failed)

The lovely and talented Edward Norton agrees. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags):

It puzzles me how often checkers and baggers look at me funny when I tell them I don't want any bags. I often need to repeat it up to 3 times because it is still so foreign to them. And I don't live in Timbuktu. This is in fracking California!

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.

Let's hope the confluence of awareness plus the increased cost of petrochemicals due to peak oil will lead to improved recycling efforts that will help keep this environmental nightmare from reaching catastrophic levels, if it isn't already there, that is.

Actions:

Drink tapwater
Avoid buying plastics
Dispose of waste responsibly(Leave caps off any bottle you dispose of)
Join this Facebook Cause: Stop Trashing The Ocean: The Great Garbage Patch

Read This must-read article:
http://www.bestlifeonline.com/...

Watch This Series:
http://www.vbs.tv/...
h/t: Pale Cold

Also:
Treehugger
The Surfrider foundation

----
Update:
Thanks for the recs. I've barely missed a lot lately, but I'm glad something important like this is what made the big list.

Here's another good vid (H/T eeff in the comments):

Originally posted to The Laughing Planet on Thu Apr 09, 2009 at 04:48 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

seamus, Lupin, myriad, paradox, Ed in Montana, nota bene, tmo, Trix, Beth, Peace JD, Phoenix Woman, mkinny, natasha, roonie, Trendar, Linda Wood, Geenius at Wrok, Pen, Mountain Don, jxg, alisonk, Unstable Isotope, kainah, theboz, mattman, RunawayRose, DebtorsPrison, bosdcla14, dengre, littlesky, Debby, LynChi, Wintermute, SanJoseLady, bellatrys, Stein, ablington, GayHillbilly, John Campanelli, eeff, willyr, xynz, kdub, frisco, MMinNY, object16, Joe B, mataliandy, Eternal Hope, shermanesq, bigforkgirl, RumsfeldResign, Gustogirl, Justina, EricS, wonkydonkey, elveta, ask, Morague, highacidity, Dont Just Stand There, crogmobulon, barath, luaptifer, supernova, roses, JuliaAnn, Ignacio Magaloni, Larry Bailey, Jeanni, ClickerMel, chrisfreel, mwmwm, thingamabob, kimberlyweldon, enough already, Cedwyn, antirove, wader, Quege, psnyder, Alizaryn, hangingchad, weary hobo, Urizen, Eddie in ME, pat bunny, smg225, superscalar, leevank, elmo, mad ramblings of a sane woman, gmb, Not2Me, hoolia, westyny, jaywillie, Ready2fight, unleded, cosette, HeyMikey, laughingriver, Chirons apprentice, MmeVoltaire, Catte Nappe, hazzcon, AbsurdEyes, RebeccaG, dufffbeer, Blackstar, welshvalleymaid, alizard, Brian82, Oaktown Girl, zerelda, mungley, shii, parryander, Man Eegee, marvyt, Mosquito Pilot, Hardhat Democrat, xyz, ganymeade, furi kuri, boran2, rmx2630, xxdr zombiexx, bibble, thereisnospoon, daveinchi, Gowrie Gal, Jersey Joe, ebbinflo, sxwarren, rapala, maybeeso in michigan, marina, radarlady, Tinfoil Hat, pattyp, capelza, NoMoreLies, case, UFOH1, Elise, yuriwho, baccaruda, subtropolis, Halcyon, PBen, kamarvt, panicbean, clammyc, truong son traveler, citizenx, juliesie, drewfromct, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, boofdah, Blissing, GUGA, bleeding blue, Ianb007, EdlinUser, jimreyn, thered1, where4art, John DE, Inland, GreyHawk, ladybug53, Burned, lotlizard, QuickSilver, Prison4Bushco, blue jersey mom, ivorybill, Isara, minidriver, Tarantula Lady, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, neroden, beaumarchais, Floja Roja, dsteffen, Cory Bantic, Spathiphyllum, JanL, ohcanada, empathy, tigerdog, dancewater, melvin, zozie, fhcec, drag0n, Mother Mags, MagisterLudi, harrietshubby, elliott, MissInformation, das monde, Compound F, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Pinko Elephant, alefnot, ripple, BlueInARedState, Krush, Ellicatt, koNko, buhdydharma, cliffradz, a gnostic, Albatross, LokiMom, NBBooks, tecampbell, StrayCat, A Siegel, 4Freedom, imabluemerkin, DumpDoolittle, PapaChach, mcmom, CTLiberal, joeshwingding, doinaheckuvanutjob, Cenobyte, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, Dreaming of Better Days, revgerry, Statusquomustgo, CharlieHipHop, Picot verde, The House, BentLiberal, ammasdarling, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, YoyogiBear, lightfoot, mochajava13, DorothyT, Fredly, Haningchadus14, Dartagnan, MrChip, WeBetterWinThisTime, NovatoBon, Stwriley, power2truth, Blue Waters Run Deep, flumptytail, SJLeonidas, greenchiledem, joyful, Unbozo, RosyFinch, Kyle the Mainer, jayden, misreal, sabishi, chicago jeff, carpunder, Rumarhazzit, ImpeachKingBushII, JML9999, Assaf, Hens Teeth, chicago minx, JDWolverton, fayeforcure, rogerdaddy, Corporate Dog, mconvente, Argyrios, swampus, Port City Moon, Boisepoet, I, Cat Servant, nlight, loree920, Rick Winrod, lineatus, thetadelta, mcthatch, DCBlue, VL Baker, alipi, hilllady, Lujane, boatjones, Hanging Up My Tusks, happymisanthropy, pickandshovel, rubine, ShempLugosi, mofembot, petulans, temprano, o the umanity, Joncleir, valsagem, luckylizard, mattc129, xysea, aigeanta, eddienutzak, BlueGenes, marketgeek, blueinsight, cactusflinthead, greenpunx, 4km, LaFeminista, R Rhino from CT4, malibu1964, in2mixin, pileta, hippie bitch, DontTaseMeBro, litoralis, BigAlinWashSt, Pariah Dog, Dopeman, bsmechanic, Michael James, Mislead, Nebraskablue, velvet blasphemy, John Shade, BDsTrinity, geodemographics, Texas Revolutionary, elziax, ZilV, badger1968, soms, Lopez99, MooseHB, obscuresportsquarterly, kevinpdx, The BBQ Chicken Madness, Joeytj, KenInCO, babeuf, ArthurPoet, KS Rose, Tricky, deviant24x, Leftcandid, sophistry makes me tired, Larsstephens, fatherofdragonwagon, Lazar, ladygreenslippers, mamamorgaine, TNThorpe, marabout40, KroneckerD, Jampacked, winkster, SanAntonioKrusty, GreenDog, The Jester, eXtina, pdx kirk, Susan Grigsby, ScottO, PurpleMyst, Anima, Onkel Trygve, newlymintedjerseygirl, your neighbor, JJC, ATFILLINOIS, BonnieSchlitz, sullivanst, samanthab, pixxer, elginblt, SoCalHobbit, DerAmi, tunstall, NYWheeler, halef, JRandomPoster, addisnana, Weaselina, Urtica dioica gracilis, MsGrin, ericlewis0, nosleep4u, Jill Richardson, slice, rossl, Reetz, Rides like a girl, kktlaw, gobears2000, Colorado is the Shiznit, TAH from SLC, links, Walk The Plank, Montreal Progressive, kirbybruno, Cintimcmomma, Laurdet, Susipsych, sharistuff, speet, Nicci August, Victory of Renegades, The Creator, blingbling65, marleycat, muddy boots, Rhode Island X, KVoimakas, CherryTheTart, jediwashuu, Cpt Robespierre, daveinojai, freerad, Neelix

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site