Saturday, August 16, 2008

PSA #7: Cleaning this mess up?

A few days ago, CNN ran a wonderful article on JUNK in their science blogs section, "The Pacific toilet bowl that never flushes".

After describing the problem of plastic debris in the gyre, CNN producer Marsha Walton concludes with a public call for suggestions:

"So, any ideas from the brains of our astute blog readers? How would you fix this? Outlaw single use plastic items? Push for plastics that biodegrade? Put a litter cop on every ocean-going vessel? Teach your kids to respect the planet?"

So far her query has elicited 116 responses! Everything from getting fleets of fishing boats to trawl for trash, to demanding UN involvement, to curbing our production of plastics. And more (for a full list, read the post)

The suggestion of netting, scooping, or trawling out the plastic is often posed.....unfortunately its simply not a feasible option, yet. Too big an area, and the debris far too difuse. Here's Marcus on why cleanup is impractical:


CT said...

ALOHA! Great job caring for the OCEANS! and EARTH! I have been
following Roz's adventures since last year and now she has met up with you in the Pacific! I am very proud that there are people like you guys and Roz out there making a difference. Hopefully the rest of us will follow... Stay stong... PEACE...

Anonymous said...

online and offline projects

Guinea Pig said...

A solution might be to invent something of a "plastic" magnet and send it out into the oceans. I can imagine something the size of a aircraft carrier that would pull in and hold onto small pieces of plastic. Maybe only the small pieces to make it able to hold more the really problematic stuff and protect the larger wild life.

Maybe something mechanical not chemical?

Something like a big flat surface that bobs with the ocean swells (using the energy of the ocean to help us) that would, as a part of each undulation, slide the plastic pieces into a container. That contain needs to have a way for wild life to exit.

Then we could harvest the debris.

OR require that all ocean going vessels trawl for plastic? I wonder how many fish would get netted?