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We absolutely can reduce the ecological footprint of humanity all the way down to zero!
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Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
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First-of-its-Kind Map Details Extent of Plastic in Five Ocean Gyres

First-of-its-Kind Map Details Extent of Plastic in Five Ocean Gyres | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

When a research team set sail on a nine-month, worldwide expedition in 2010 to study the impact of global warming on Earth’s oceans, one of their projects was to locate the accumulations of plastic.


They found plenty. They explored the five huge gyres, which collectively contain tens of thousands of tons of plastic. The result was the creation of a compelling, first-of-its-kind map of this debris.

 

But in the process, they realized that the plastic in the gyres didn’t begin to account for the enormous amount of plastic that’s been manufactured since the mass production of plastic began in the mid 1940s.


In a National Geographic report, marine biologist Andres Cozar Cabañas, who was part of theMalaspina expedition led by the Spanish National Research Council, said:

 

“Our observations show that large loads of plastic fragments, with sizes from microns to some millimeters, are unaccounted for in the surface loads. But we don’t know what this plastic is doing. The plastic is somewhere—in the ocean life, in the depths or broken down into fine particles undetectable by nets.”


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Rescooped by Daniel LaLiberte from > Environmental
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MARINE DEBRIS: Why would you move through the oceans if the oceans can move through you? - YouTube

Boyan Slat, founder and president The Ocean Cleanup: "I have invented a method to clean up almost half of the great Pacific's garbage patch in just 10 years, using the currents to my advantage." 

 

But the oceans won't get clean by means of just a great idea. The Ocean Cleanup aims to not only study the solution, but actually develop the world's first feasible approach to gyre remediation, by using the ocean's currents to its advantage. So there is much more work to be done. 


Via PeerSpring
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

After watching this video, and another video with Boyan reporting on the feasibility study: (http://www.theoceancleanup.com/blog/show/item/the-ocean-cleanup-release-event.html) I get the sense that we haven't really been trying hard enough yet to clean up our mess.  And that, ironically enough, gives me hope that there is so much more we can do.

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Daniel LaLiberte's comment, June 16, 2014 9:01 PM
Although Boyan only claims his "gadget" can clean up about half of the plastic in 10 years, the smaller bits, which are probably much more numerous, will also be important to clean up, and it will likely be much more difficult. Some complain that the whole idea seems naive (http://sco.lt/6HvjRB) but it looks like there is a reasonable value proposition here.
PeerSpring's comment, June 16, 2014 9:27 PM
Daniel - if to think without limits or confines is to be naive, then perhaps the world needs a little bit more of youth innovation? Thanks so much for your thoughtful contributions and re-scoops!
Daniel LaLiberte's comment, August 18, 2014 11:28 PM
It turns out that the amount of plastic in the oceans is quite a lot less than previously thought. Or we don't know where it is in any case, which is perhaps more disturbing: "Ninety-nine percent of the ocean's plastic is missing" http://sco.lt/6AJ3Uv