Adventures of philosophical nature have been taking place as well. Photo: ©© tedxgp2 / Plastic pollution coalition. All sea creatures, from the largest to the microscopic organisms, are, at one point or another, swallowing the seawater soup instilled with toxic chemicals from plastic decomposition. Furthermore, plastic pollution can also act as a vector of different contaminants, invasive species, and pathogens such as SARS-CoV2 , , , . Since plastics belong to a chemical family of high polymers, they are essentially made up of a long chain of molecules containing repeated units of carbon atoms. Mainly a consensus needs to happen, as a culture of behavioral changes needs to be promoted. However, materials can bypass treatment systems and enter waterways when rain levels exceed sewage treatment facilities’ handling capacity. Plastics travel long distances. They reported that small plastic pellets called “mermaids tears”, which are the result of industry and domestic plastic waste, have indeed spread across the world’s seas. “The plastic fragments are mostly less than a quarter inch long and are below the surface. Although inhabited and remote, South Sentinel island is covered with plastic! It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, that is a terrifying thought! After the return of the two vessels from Project Kasei and Scripps (Seaplex), Kaisei and New Horizon, the only certainty was that the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch remains uncertain. Carry your own bags when shopping. Other emerging hotspots include the oil-boom coasts of the Caspian and the littoral states of Iran and Azerbaijan. The Marine Conservancy has published that the estimated decomposition rates of most plastic debris found on coasts are: Until Dr. Saido’s report, no studies had been conducted on plastic decomposition at low temperature in the marine environment, owing to the mistaken conception that plastic does practically not decompose in such condition. A Potential Replacement For Hormone-Scrambling Plastics ? Indeed, it is found that debris often accumulates in the animals’ gut and give a false sense of fullness, causing the animal to stop eating and slowly starve to death. More and more awareness and preventive programs are promoted. But that doesn’t stop various governments from waging a full-on war on plastics, particularly in Europe, Asia—in particular China—who still are producing plastics hell-bent for leather. Keep in mind that this was prior to the implementation of both the high-seas driftnet ban and MARPOL Annex V. Other terms used prior to 1984 include the following: man-made debris (Feder et all 1978), synthetic debris (Balazs 1979), plastic litter (Merrell 1980), floating plastic debris (Morris 1980), man-made objects (Shaughnessy 1980, Venrick et al 1973), and debris (Scordino and Fisher 1983). Microplastics have been found in more than 100 aquatic species, including fish, shrimp, and mussels destined for our dinner plates. The earliest references come from the 1984 Workshop on the Impacts and Fate of Marine Debris (Shomura and Yoshida 1985). As environmentalists remind the world’s population, “…We are eating fish that have eaten other fish, which have eaten toxin-saturated plastics. • Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 1950 to 2015 is about 8.6%. Plastics contain additives than harm humans and other species: fire retardants, stabilizers, antibiotics, plasticizers, pigments, bisphenol A, phthalates, etc. The plastic waste tide we are faced with is not only obvious for us to clearly see washed up on shore or bobbing at sea. The plasticity during production makes it possible for plastic to be moulded, extruded or pressed into solid objects of various shapes, making them an adaptable material for many different uses. There, Charles Moore saw an ocean he had never known. Dr Saido’s study was the first one to look at what actually happens over the years to these tons of plastic waste floating in the world’s oceans. The same fossil fuel … This massive contamination comes on top of other human impacts: overfishing, acidification, and ocean temperature increases. It has been strongly linked to asthma and allergies in children. For example, 85 percent of the 1.8 million people who visit Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are concentrated in two small areas, Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands, which together have a human population of just 130,000 or so, WWF reported. Also, there is a danger that biodegradable plastics will be seen as “litter friendly” materials, conveying the wrong message to the public and potentially leading to less responsible and more wasteful practices. This depends upon the plastic (polymer) and the environment to which it is exposed. On initial removal it was found that the entrance to the stomach was completely blocked with a cylinder of tightly packed shredded black plastic bin liner bags and fishing twine. This zero waste philosophy encourages the redesign of resource’s life cycles, so that all products are reused. Plastic pollution causes. Mouth of the Los Angeles River, Long Beach, California. The long-lasting quality and beautiful presentation of plastic products are enough to attract the attention of the consumers. When exposed to seawater, the plastics degrade via hydrolysis into nontoxic products, according to the scientists. When plastic breaks down it doesn’t disappear, it gets smaller creating tiny particles called microplastics. In the same year, Ireland took another approach and instituted a steep tax on plastics. This represents a potential threat for the marine environment should an alien species become established. However, confident in the future and investigating new horizons, Doug Woodring, from Project Kaisei, will be producing a documentary for National Geographic testing catch techniques for the plastic waste (“we know not all can be caught, but some can for sure”), at least for the largest debris that we know do decompose over time and actually more rapidly than previously thought. The despondent effects and too numerous casualties of the great plastic tide are visible, but more alarmingly, beyond visual, which ought to prompt the perpetrators to choose no other path than the advocacy and culture of consistent and sustained behavioral changes. Then, on shore, the spectacle becomes even more poignant, as thousands of bird corpses rest on these beaches, piles of colorful plastic remaining where there stomachs had been. A campaign against river and sea pollution has been called, and people are urged to change their culture of throwing garbage into waterways and other common places. This means that soil microorganisms that can easily attack and decompose things like wood and other formerly living materials cannot break the various kinds of strong bonds that are common to most plastics. Yet, they remain forever - toxic till the end. A strict Chinese limit on ultra-thin plastic bags significantly reduced bag-related pollution nationwide during the past year. It’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world. Robson F. Storey, Ph.D., a professor of Polymer Science and Engineering at USM, said, “We’re moving toward making plastics more sustainable, especially those that are used at sea.” Their study is funded by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), which is supporting a number of ongoing research projects aimed at reducing the environmental impact of marine waste. Plastic production is expected to double in 20 years, which will far outstrip our current waste management and recycling capabilities (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2016). The Centre for Science and Environment says that nearly 80 percent of the river’s pollution is the result of sewage. Media light was finally brought in force at that point. The cost to the local industry could be as high as $4,300,000. The BIR (Bureau of International Recycling), whose headquarters is in Belgium, is a trade federation representing the world’s recycling industry. Corals are in fact animals, even though they may exhibit some of the characteristics of plants and are often mistaken for rocks. We use plastic bags, straws and plastic bottles for such a short time and then we dispose of it. In 1972 and 1974, conventions were held in Oslo and Paris, respectively, which resulted in the passing of the OSPAR Convention, an international treaty controlling marine pollution in the north-east Atlantic Ocean around Europe. The government has also since announced an additional ban on all plastic bags from the beginning of 2022. The enzymes and the micro organisms responsible for breaking down organic materials that occur naturally such as plants, dead animals, rocks and minerals, don’t recognize them. Production and development of thousands of new plastic products accelerated after World War II, so transforming the modern age that life without plastics would be unrecognizable today. Plastic pollution has become one of the most critical environmental problems because the rapidly growing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them, hence the world is trying many solutions to plastic pollution. Corroborating reports and findings worldwide demonstrated that fragmented plastics debris’ increase and massive presence on and off shores does constitute reason for raised worries and awareness. There are different types of plastic pollution and each one has a different impact. The path to successful resolution of the crisis clearly appears…as we are the problem and the solution. The Eastern Garbage Patch has been studied the most so far, yet it is not and obviously cannot be the only vast oceanic “rubbish dump out there” says Charles Moore. Estimates for plastic degradation at sea has been ranged from 450 to 1,000 years. In 2025, the annual input is estimated to be about twice greater, or 10 bags full of plastic per foot of coastline. The type of plastic studied by Saido’s team was polystyrene, a white foamed plastic, commonly known by the trademark Styrofoam. They are light enough to float in the wind, landing in the earth’s oceans. The samples collected from the seawater will be subject to more scientific studies for the toxicity of the plastics and how this is really affecting our food chain (in ways that are only just becoming known… and not good ways). In Jordan, recreational activities contribute up to 67 percent of the total discharge of marine litter. This type of philosophy has been called, deep ecology. The vessel’s name is a nod to famed explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who led a 1947 voyage on the Kon-Tiki to test theories of Polynesian settlement by South Americans. “More studies are needed to optimize the plastics for various environmental conditions they might encounter, including changes in temperature, humidity and seawater composition”, Storey says. The Water Framework Directive of 2000 is a European Union directive committing EU member states to make their inland and coastal waters free from human influence. “We were out in the middle of the Pacific, where you would think the ocean would be pristine,” recalls the Alguita’s captain, Charles Moore. Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land. Selon un rapport de l'ONU, en seulement 65 ans, l'homme a produit 9 milliards de tonnes de plastique. Both, the reports and expeditions uncovered new evidence of how vast and “surprisingly” (as it was termed at the ACS meeting) toxic the plastic presence in the marine environment is. Cuviers beaked whales are rarely seen in coastal waters, as they are predominantly a deep-water species. Only 9% was recycled and 12% was incinerated. —Commandant Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Mechanical systems, such as Mr. Trash Wheel, a litter interceptor in Maryland’s Baltimore Harbor, can be effective at picking up large pieces of plastic, such as foam cups and food containers, from inland waters. From the whale, sea lions, and birds to the microscopic organisms called zooplankton, plastic has been, and is, greatly affecting marine life, i.e animals on shore and off shore, whether by ingestion or entanglement. They are relatives of jellyfish and anemones. Thus, unless the plastic is specially designed to decompose in the soil, such materials can last a very long time because the chemical bonds that hold the molecules together are often stronger than nature’s power to take them apart. Over the past 60 years, organic materials, once the most common form of debris, have yielded to synthetic elements as the most abundant material in solid waste. Some beaches are buried under 5 to 10 feet of plastic trash, while other beaches are riddled with “plastic sand,” millions of grain-like pieces of plastic that are practically impossible to clean up. Stomachs so packed with plastics reduce the urge to eat, causing starvation. In Europe, DEHP has been banned since 1999 from use in plastic toys for children under the age of three. The rest floats in open seas, often ending up in gyres, circular motion of currents, forming conglomerations of swirling plastic trash called garbage patches, or ultimately ending up washed ashore on someone’s beach. The Scripps/ Kaisei survey mission of the gyre found that plastic debris was present in 100 consecutive samples taken at varying depths and net sizes. Here are 4 main ways that plastic causes air pollution 1. Not included PET-, PA- and polyacryl-fibers. From the whale, sea lions, and birds to the microscopic organisms called zooplankton, plastic has been, and is, greatly affecting marine life on shore and off shore. In the birds’ gullets researchers found red plastic particles. But before we develop further the realities and consequences of the plastic-covered beaches, seafloor and plastic-instilled seawater, it is necessary to present simple facts about plastic itself. This World Environment Day, it’s time for a change. Microplastics are breaking down further into smaller and smaller pieces. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said that plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, millions of birds and fishes. For instance, a recycling factory in China was recently exposed to tragic consequences due to the recycling of very hazardous plastic materials. However, even though the decomposition process would not occur in much cooler seawater as Barnes mentioned, the oceans are vast, currents are constant and permanent, nothing stays static and furthermore, it seems that garbage patches where plastics accumulate, are to be found in even greater dimension in the South Gyres, in the tropical and sub tropical zones with very warm waters. All sea creatures, from the largest to the microscopic organisms are, at one point or another, swallowing the seawater soup instilled with toxic chemicals from plastic decomposition. All over the world the statistics are ever growing, staggeringly. Plastic trash has become so ubiquitous it has prompted efforts to write a global treaty negotiated by the United Nations. The first was Daniel Burd (2008). Waterborne diseases are India’s leading cause of childhood mortality. Its durability has made the culprit of the problem since it is considered resistant to natural biodegradation processes, i.e. For instance, studies are underway on glues that could someday replace common marine epoxies and plastics that could replace non-recyclable fiberglass. On 23 of the islands, it was reported that the total litter at the strandline ranged from not detectable to 29.1 items/m (Willoughby et al. Globally, projected plastic-related greenhouse gas emissions could be cut by up to 25 percent by 2040 if the world could decrease plastic production through our modeled interventions. Nets and lines become snagged on coral and subsequent wave action causes coral heads to break off at points where the debris was attached. Blatantly visible is the plastic spill washing up on the shores and beaches. Indeed, thanks to an increased awareness of the plastic pollution spread, local, national, individual, and associative actions have taken place worldwide to stop the plastic hemorrhage at the source. Until the U.S. follows the lead of San Francisco, China, Ireland, Uganda, South Africa, Russia, and Hong Kong and targets the reduction of plastic bags using legislature, we each need to make a conscious choice and refuse to use it. Launched in 1986 by the Ocean Conservancy, the Center for Marine Conservation’s annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) has grown into the world’s largest volunteer effort to collect data on the marine environment. In many cases, these tiny bits pass through the digestive system and are expelled without consequence. And plastic production is a major driver of pollution accelerating the climate crisis that has already claimed lives and livelihoods in every corner of our country. Plastic pollution is caused by inadequate waste disposal. For instance, a Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management was approved in January 2008, involving 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the European Union. Last year, an estimated 150,000 tons of marine plastic debris washed up onto the shores of Japan and 300 tons a day on India’s shores. Plastic production and consumption contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, devalues marine ecosystems, and chokes the wildlife that makes our oceans so diverse. “It can actually change entire ecosystems.” He has documented that plastic debris which floats on the oceans, acts as rafts for small sea creatures to grow and travel on. The other 20 percent of this debris is from dumping activities on the water, including vessels (from small power and sailboats to large transport ships carrying people and goods), offshore drilling rigs and platforms, and fishing piers. Research into the stomach contents of dead Fulmars from the Netherlands, between 1982 and 2001, found that 96 percent of the birds had plastic fragments in their stomachs with an average of 23 plastic pieces per bird (Van Franeker and Meijboom, 2003). There have been several successful bacteria based solutions developed at the Dept. In 2004, a study lead by Dr Richard Thompson at the University of Plymouth, UK, reported finding great amount of plastic particles on beaches and waters in Europe, the Americas, Australia, Africa and Antarctica. All rights reserved. By one estimate, 4 percent of global oil production is consumed as raw materials for plastic and an additional 4 percent provides energy to run plastics factories. Italy will also ban them that year. Once plastic debris enters the water, it becomes one of the most pervasive problems because of plastic’s inherent properties: buoyancy, durability (slow photo degradation), propensity to absorb waterborne pollutants, its ability to get fragmented in microscopic pieces, and more importantly, its proven possibility to decompose, leaching toxic Bisphenol A (BPA) and other toxins in the seawater. In 1992, twenty containers full of rubber ducks were lost overboard from a ship traveling from China to Seattle. The Indonesian government, for instance “(is) seriously concerned about improving its waste management and informing the public,” quoted the Jakarta Post, 2008. Much of ocean’s life is in the microscopic size range and zooplankton is the base of the food chain. Scientists are still refining methods to detect and analyze the materials. Any trash sent to landfills is minimal. The new plastics are made of polyurethane that has been modified by the incorporation of PLGA [poly (lactide-co-glycolide)], a known degradable polymer used in surgical sutures and controlled drug-delivery applications. Marine litter cause serious economic losses to various sectors and authorities. Photo: ©© Tedxgp2. After the cheap production cost and long lasting properties of plastic, one of the biggest causes of plastic pollution is the never-ending human greed and our lack of concern for the environment. In a 2006 report, Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans, Greenpeace stated that at least 267 different animal species are known to have suffered from entanglement and ingestion of plastic debris. Under normal, dry weather conditions, most wastes are screened out of sewage in countries that do apply strict sewage treatment. “Ocean pretty much looks like ocean,” she said. 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