Massive plastic garbage dump- Pacific Ocean

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by reb, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. reb

    reb New Member

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    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/19/SS6JS8RH0.DTL&feed=rss.news

    (There was a link of the Yahoo home page today of a piece they did on the news... however I can't seem to get a URL from that. It may still on there for a little while longer though.)

    This is horrfying!!!!
    It weighs 3 1/2 MILLION TONS and is TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!

    Apparently 80% of the plastic in this floating dump is PLASTIC and originated from land and also boats (what the hell are people doing throwing their trash off their boat? idiots!!) It has been CATASTROPHIC for marine wildlife... birds and turles.. who think floating plastic bags are jellyfish.
    This is caused by our GROWING DEPENDENCE ON PLASTIC.

    I have visions of a future where plastic will just take over the world.. the oceans will be choked with it, waterways will be completely choked with it (many already are)... the ground everywhere will be littered and we will be wading through plastic trash all over the gound up to our knees. Bits of degrading plastic will be everywhere.. in the soil, in the trees, in our bodies. Crazy, you say?? Well, we are actually going in that direction.

    I definitely have been thinking about plastic for a while... I try NOT to buy things with a lot of packaging. And if a clerk wants to give me a plastic bag for one or 2 things.. I say, 'no thanks,, keep it'-- we are so used to just taking it without even thinking. And I have started bringing my own cloth bags to carry stuff.
    Also by going to farmer's markets (or growing some of your own food) you are reducing the amount of food packaging you consume. However our computers are made out of plastic, and that is hard to avoid.. but we have to start somewhere.

    I also am NOT a fan of the 'convenience store drink phenomenon'... which is what I call our insane dependence on plastic bottle drinks.. which are EVERYWHERE... you can barely go 3 feet without encountering a vending machine or a store that sells sodas, bottles water, etc.. now COME ON. Our ancestors survived for centuries without these. Are we really gonna die of starvation or thirst if we don't have a vending machine, or soda/water in a plastic bottle, on every corner, in every school, etc......? It's all advertising. JUST SAY NO!
    In fact I used to drink bottled water (and recycled the bottles at least).. but I now am unhappy with that. I am getting a Brita filter on my faucet and am switching to good old tap water. (horrors!)
    I do love Gerolsteiner though, which is in a glass bottle.. but it's from Germany,, so they use petrochemicals to get it across the ocean.... *sigh*.... These days it's an endless search to do less damage.. since the companies that sell products to us DO NOT CARE.. they only care about profits!! SO, as always,, it's up to us to vote with our choices and our dollars!
     
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  3. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    I've never been a fan of individual drink packages. There expensive anyways. The kids always wanted squeeze it's. But they got koolaid in a glass instead. We do buy small bottles of water every once in a while. But that's to refresh our supply of bottles we wash and use over and over until they wear out. Bottled water kind of scares me. At least I know where my water comes from. And the county mails out a yearly water test.
     
  4. Peter Hamilton

    Peter Hamilton New Member

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    yeah, its a shame--way too much plastic out there no doubt--We always recycle cuz I drink about 5 bottles of Tropicana Sugar Free FruitPunch a week,and it only comes in plastic,unfortunately
     
  5. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    Yes, and I guess the plastic is made from oil?

    I was given a really nice market basket for my Birthday; the inside is sturdy and is velcroed around a wire rim, so you can take it out and wash it when it gets dirty. The handle folds down for storage. It's big enough to hold quite a few groceries.

    I think you can get them at TJMaxx and other places; probably you can order one off the internet. I recently went to a church Bazzaar and I got lots of comments from the "older ladies" on my tote basket.

    Didn't san Francisco stop using plastic bags?
     
  6. reb

    reb New Member

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    hi martha-
    yes, they did.. it was in that video clip (yahoo front page- from this morning, now gone). i think that's pretty amazing.... it says they actually made it ILLEGAL for big chain stores to use plastic bags!! ha,, good! i bet people are griping and complaining like crazy about it. yeah, it sucks to be inconvenienced, doesn't it? well,,, if they got a good look at that dump i bet most people might change their tune. in fact i am surprised that a very comprehensive VIDEO hasn't been made about the dump.. or even a documentary film.... to open peoples' eyes about the plastic problem.
    or,, maybe one has already been made...? anyone know?
    and actually, in that news clip,, they did not show an actual picture or recording of the dump. why not?? where's the photos of the darn thing? it's not like we don't have the technology to take photos of it!
     
  7. reb

    reb New Member

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15590510

    here's another article on it... the greenpeace people seem to be the only ones collecting (and analyzing) the trash.
    you know every time i eat fish now i really, really enjoy it,, and i'm kind of sad.. we took fish for granted for so long... but if things keep going the way they are (and why wouldn't they? we humans are too dumb to change).. within our lifetimes, fish will be too depleted- and the ones left,, way too poisoned... to eat anymore. the ocenas will literally become earth's garbage dump. (oh wait, they've been that already, for years!)
     
  8. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    However, most grocery stores have recycle bins for plastic bags. I guess the problem is so many don't bother to take the time to recycle.

    We have been recycling paper and plastic for years here, but I guess there's no way to know if the recycling companies are really doing it.
     
  9. Buzz Mills

    Buzz Mills New Member

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    All forms of packaging are on overkill. A way needs to be found to package everything in a minimum of material, which is all recyclable. So much unnecessary cardboard, and plastics, with too much advertising.
     
  10. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    Part of that is liability too. We don't want anyone tampering with our food or medicines. Sometimes it takes me ten minutes to get something opened. All the extra clear plastic rims around medicines and bottles, etc. cost us more as consumers, and add to the trash.

    Yes it would be good if all material was recyclable. I don't think recycling is a very lucrative business right now, so we need a way to give incentive to this type of business.

    I think our town uses city funds to help promote recycling - and everyone is given a bin to put out front; those things cost money when done en mass.
     
  11. beakiebean

    beakiebean New Member

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    We bought a bunch of tote bags at the flea market awhile back-13 of them for $1. They're misprints or canceled orders that the tote bag company no longer has a use for. Lol-one of them is for a golf club and the quote was "Not smokin' improves your strokin'." Wonder how many of those they printed before someone noticed the other way of interpreting it?

    We are completely hooked on them. We take them to the grocery store with us-they hold more groceries than the plastic sacks, stack nicer in the car, are easier to carry-you can toss a couple over your shoulder as well as holding them in your hands and they distribute the weight better. I always keep one folded up in my purse if if I run in somewhere to pick up a few things I've got a bag handy. After we grocery shop we just toss them back in the car the next time we go out so they're always handy.

    We figured we were accumulating between 10-15 plastic grocery sacks a week before we started using the tote bags so now we're saving between 520-780 plastic bags a year. We got my mom some for Christmas (lol-yes we're the kind of family that buys cheap bags with inadvertent sexual innuendos on them for Christmas presents.) So there's another 520-780 bags a year saved. If even 50% of people stopped using them and switched to cloth bags think how many less bags would be needed.

    Ok-I'm really passionate about my grocery bags. :blushing: I know- I'm a dork-but they're just so much better than plastic and so much nicer at the same time.

    Becca
     
  12. kidzndogznme

    kidzndogznme A closed mouth gathers no foot

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    I don't remember where I read it so I don't have a link but I heard that there is something about the plastic in bottled water containers that makes it dangerous to use over. Something breaks down quicker than in other plastics. Gonna see if I can find a link. BRB.

     
  13. Buzz Mills

    Buzz Mills New Member

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    Becca, as many bags as you have, I would think you would want to give us a couple of them. Sounded like a great deal. Way too much packaging being used these days. I shop at Costco, and all of the tools, etc, are packed in the heavy molded plastic packages. Such an overkill.

    Too bad they can't build a floating recycling plant, and harvest that giant garbage mass, or tow it to an island and build the recycling plant there.
     
  14. Lisahas2cats

    Lisahas2cats New Member

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    If more stores would do like Aldi's grocery chain does, and charge customers a small fee for each grocery bag, that would cut down on waste *tremendously*! We're even bigger cheapskates than we are wasteful, and the idea of paying ***gasp*** a nickel for a bag would make us stop and think.
     
  15. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    I've been hearing more and more about that too. It's getting to where I don't want to use anything plastic! If you find a link, I would appreciate it.

    ******

    I've always been one to re-use our grocery bags for garbage bags, lunch bags etc. I've cut down alot on the bags I get though. Stores try to put everything including milk and two liter bottles in bags. Alot of items are simply easier to handle without the dang bags, so I request no bags for them. You all have motivated me to go the cloth bag route! Question for you, do the clerks give you dirty looks if they have to use your bag versus their spinning pastic bag pedistal?
     
  16. BhamMama

    BhamMama Former Member

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    I am a member of this group morsbags, sociable guerilla bagging.
    http://morsbags.com/html/about.html

    Cloth grocery bags are so easy to make and I love that they are reusable, not to mention sturdier.

    I've not seen a place around here that lets you recycle the plastic bags. That would be a great idea if people actually did it.

    SuziQ, I've had them stare and even some ugly remarks. I've even had my bags searched. I don't stop though. I get way more positive feedback than bad. And being part of a guerilla bagging group, I've been known to hand out bags when someone mentions they like them. It's part of the passing it on stance that Morsbags talks about.
     
  17. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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  18. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    Thank You, I certainly won't miss the plastic bags that rip and dump out your groceries! And half the items come out of the bag and roll around the back of the car anyways.
     
  19. beakiebean

    beakiebean New Member

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    My bags don't stand up on their own so what I do is hold the bag oopen for the cashier so they can load it up. I kind of sort my food out when I unload my cart-heavy stuff and cans first, meats together, dairy, veggies and fruit, bread, ect so that they can just keep tossing them in the bag. That's worked out really well. Some cashiers will just set the stuff on top of the spinning pedestal and let me bag it myself which I actually like.

    I've only had one cashier who had issues with it and honestly she was just making it way harder than it needed to be-other than that one they've all been great about it and many have commented that they like the bags and that they think they're a great idea.

    Becca
     
  20. kidzndogznme

    kidzndogznme A closed mouth gathers no foot

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    Here is a link I found about plastic dangers. Of course, there are 2 sides to this, just as to anything else. Some say it is a myth, some say a hoax. I choose to err on the side of caution esp since scientists do not know what causes some of the cancers that are increasing these days. I bought lunch boxes for my kids from reusablebags.com. The lead scare last year was the clincher for me.

    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/safe-plastics-for-lunchboxes.html
     
  21. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Does anyone else see it as ironic that several years ago it was seen as the environmentally conscious choice when asked "paper or plastic" to say plastic? The idea being it didn't kill trees, of course. Of course, trees can be replanted and paper biodegrades. Some smart-aleck clerks were ahead of their time by asking "kill a tree or choke a fish." Too bad we didn't realize how true that was. Choosing plastic was definitely considered the environmental choice in order to save the trees. Now we are choking the fish.
     

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