The Ocean Cleanup begins cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Discussion in 'Environment & Conservation' started by wgabrie, Nov 4, 2021.

  1. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    The Ocean Cleanup begins cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
    Duration: 8:16

    The nonprofit global cleaning crew called The Ocean Cleanup, led by founder and CEO Boyan Slat, announced recently that it had reached viability of its ocean plastic-collecting System 002 technology and plans to begin cleaning plastic pollution in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch immediately while beginning development of System 003.

    The Ocean Cleanup https://theoceancleanup.com

    What a nice thing they’re doing. Cleaning up the great pacific garbage patch. This has restored my faith in humanity. If we keep cleaning up the garbage patch, the size of Texas, a little bit at a time we will eventually clean it to a large extent. I don’t fool myself into thinking that they will clean up every last bit of garbage in the ocean, but we can say that we’re finally taking the steps necessary to clean up after ourselves.

    Now, we just need to figure out what to do with the shredded-up plastic pellets besides making collectible sunglasses out of them, which is what the company behind this project is doing with them. They said that they are not going to use the pellets themselves, leaving it up to other companies to use the recycled plastic in their manufacturing process.
     
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  2. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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  3. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    There may be many applications. I was thinking about plastic studs for construction. But I don't know if it would be economic. Maybe roofing or deck boards. No bug damage.
     
  4. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    If someone is picking up plastic in the oceans and re- using the material, more power to them.
     
  5. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    This is the sort of environmentalism I support. I'd like to see similar systems that can collect mercury and nuclear fallout from the oceans (granted, those will be a lot more involved than just net-fishing for plastic).
     
  6. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A giant island of plastic would actually be less of an issue than what there is. If it all jumbled together and stayed afloat, it would just be ugly, and since it does it where no one can see it, big woop.

    But what happens is the plastic erodes into microparticles that eventually become an unavoidable toxin. Most plastics slowly break down into various chemicals like, for example, estrogen mimickers that can unbalance the hormones in most organisms. The ocean, essentially being the foundation that all life on this planet is built upon, does not need hormone therapy, which is essentially what its getting by being our plastics depository.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2021
  7. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    They started cleaning the ocean of plastics some years ago. I notice the improvements made by system 2 over system 1. I used to post news on system 1 clean up. A heap the size of Texas will take a huge amount of time to clean.
     
  8. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    An excerpt from the link at #2:

    "That NOAA article says something else of interest about this myth, discussing articles by Carey Morishige of NOAA’s Marine Debris Program

    “(1) There is no “garbage patch,” a name which conjures images of a floating landfill in the middle of the ocean, with miles of bobbing plastic bottles and rogue yogurt cups. … While it’s true that these areas have a higher concentration of plastic than other parts of the ocean, much of the debris found in these areas are small bits of plastic (microplastics) that are suspended throughout the water column. A comparison I like to use is that the debris is more like flecks of pepper floating throughout a bowl of soup, rather than a skim of fat that accumulates (or sits) on the surface.

    “(2) There are many “garbage patches,” and by that, we mean that trash congregates to various degrees in numerous parts of the Pacific and the rest of the ocean. These natural gathering points appear where rotating currents, winds, and other ocean features converge to accumulate marine debris, as well as plankton, seaweed, and other sea life.”
     
  9. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    More information from NOAA thanks to your link Jack.
    https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/patch.html
     
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  10. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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  11. Monash

    Monash Well-Known Member

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    There's been a recent development that could be of great use in the clean-up process. Chemists and engineers have developed and built a device that converts waste plastic into a substitute fuel for marine engines. In addition the processing plant is compact enough and efficient enough that (in theory) it could be integrated into the engineering spaces of a 'cleanup' vessel and run in real time off the plastic waste being scooped up from the surface of the ocean. The researchers involved calculate that such a ship could extract most if not all of the fuel needed to run such a vessel from the waste plastic it is cleaning up!

    The ships would of course release CO2 while burning the fuel but the % released by a relatively small fleet of such vessels would only be a tiny/minute portion of the globes current marine transport CO2 budget and energy would have to be used to re-cycle the plastic anyway - on top of what was used to manufacture it in the first place. Link below.

    https://www.newscientist.com/articl...he-ocean-by-turning-marine-plastic-into-fuel/
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2021

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