View Full Version : Marine Littering!

06-10-2009, 04:30 PM
Just saw this report and thought I'd share it. When are people going to realise that the is not a limitless resource that we can just dump our trash it. Its not just the trash that gets dumped directly into the oceans, it gets washed off roads, down storm drains, into rivers and lakes and, ultimately, ends up in the ocean.

You can't walk on a beach anywhere and not find plastic trash, no matter how remote a location you may be in. And we've all come across empty beer and soda cans during a dive at some point?

Report brings to the surface the growing global problem of marine litter
Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Jun. 8, 2009
From discarded fishing gear to plastic bags to cigarette butts, a growing tide of marine litter is harming oceans and beaches worldwide, says a new report.
The report, the first-ever attempt to take stock of the marine litter situation in the 12 major regional seas around the world, was launched on World Oceans Day by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Ocean Conservancy.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said:

'Marine litter is symptomatic of a wider malaise: namely the wasteful use and persistent poor management of natural resources. The plastic bags, bottles and other debris piling up in the oceans and seas could be dramatically reduced by improved waste reduction, waste management and recycling initiatives'.

'Some of the litter, like thin film single use plastic bags which choke marine life, should be banned or phased-out rapidly everywhere-there is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere. Other waste can be cut by boosting public awareness, and proposing an array of economic incentives and smart market mechanisms that tip the balance in favor of recycling, reducing or re-use rather than dumping into the sea,' he said.

The report's findings indicate that despite several international, regional and national efforts to reverse marine pollution, alarming quantities of rubbish thrown out to sea continue to endanger people's safety and health, entrap wildlife, damage nautical equipment and deface coastal areas around the world.

'This report is a reminder that carelessness and indifference is proving deadly for our oceans and its inhabitants,' says Philippe Cousteau, CEO of EarthEcho International and Ocean Conservancy board member. 'Offered here are more than mere facts and figures. The time for action is now, and true change will require taking a bold and courageous stand. There are solutions that everyone, everywhere in the world, can adopt to make a positive difference for our water planet.'

Papa Bear
06-10-2009, 05:29 PM
I agree with about 90% of the report and have a big problem with plastics! All plastics Bags in sold in California are required to be Bio-degradable, but cups and other trash that people toss out end up in storm drains and the down stream environment! The only thing is Cans and Bottles? What's the difference between them and a wreck? I have seen a lot of little critters that use both for homes! The aesthetics is what we as humans impose on the such refuge, but for a lot of critters it's home! I am not suggesting trashing the ocean bottom, but the sea is the great recycler, it just takes time, and we aren't very patient!

I think the tire experiment off Pensacola Florida was very interesting! Coral likes clean white surfaces to attach, like Parrot Fish leave behind or Storms.... Black tires don't grow anything in tropical waters and the same tires in Temperate waters will do just fine for habitat and Kelp grows well on them! So one size does not fit all on 2/3rds of the world!

06-11-2009, 12:13 AM
Those Bio-Degradable plastics they sell are only bio-degradeable in a commercial composer....I wonder what % of them actually end up there?

And as far as tires, that experiment has failed in numerous places. Tires do not belong in the ocean, especially when we can make other things with them rather than throwing them away.

Papa Bear
06-11-2009, 01:32 AM
They work great in colder water for kelp and habitat, just not for coral. Not everyplace is set up for recycling! The energy it takes to transport and store them is a big factor! Real scientists are now looking at all factors in a cycle and a new study shows your full SUV is less damaging than a train station and its systems if you consider the impact of construction! Not everything is as simple as ALGORE would have you think, including North Korea!

06-11-2009, 04:46 PM
I don't know enough about the tire thing to say whether or not they work in the ocean for anything. However, as Ace said, there are other uses they can be put to rather than dumping them so I'd prefer that we go that route for now.

Papa, your comment with regards to cans and bottles is valid, they do provide habitat for all sorts of critters and will, ultimately, be broken down but I'd hate for people to begin using that as an excuse to dump them in the ocean. Aesthetically, they are an eyesore for a long time so I'd rather they be recycled by us than waiting for mother nature to do her thing.

When it comes to planetary recycling, ultimately, everything gets broken down and recycled, even the plastics, but it will take thousands of years and the potential for doing harm along the way is enormous.

As for train stations vs SUVs, I understand that you have to look at the whole picture with regards to any impact on the environment, but that seems a strange comparison. Difficult to drive the train station to the grocery store (or dive site) and also difficult to fit 1000 people in an SUV while they wait for the 8:15 to Downtown. ;)

06-12-2009, 02:09 AM
Real scientists are now looking at all factors in a cycle and a new study shows your full SUV is less damaging than a train station and its systems if you consider the impact of construction!

I guess these "Real scientists" forgot to consider the construction of the road the SUV drives on?

Papa Bear
06-12-2009, 04:13 AM
There are no free lunches, power, or health care contrary to leftest beliefs! :beat:

06-13-2009, 12:14 AM
There are no free lunches, power, or health care contrary to leftest beliefs! :beat:

NO, you are 100% right on that, but some things have less of an impact or cost or whatever than others. I am sure (hope) we all agree that solar and wind power is a better choice over other current options when you consider everything.

I also think we can all agree that more efficient vehicles are a must as well. I am not saying smaller, slower or anything like that, just more efficient. If we just start to praise success again instead of failure as we are currently doing, our country would be a much better place and surely would not be in the economic disaster it is currently in.

Papa Bear
06-13-2009, 04:21 PM
Couldn't agree less! It is all political! We have 400 years of oil! Solar panels take too much energy to produce and it takes over a hundred years to recapture its production energy! (They last 30) Nuclear energy is the answer, but you have to be Iranian before you have a "Right" to it! Fuel is artificially do to lack of drilling and no new refineries being built! We have only been using oil for a 125 years and we have what we have because of it, but if you would have lived 200 years ago you wouldn't have imagined our world or the use of oil! We just stopped Hydrogen fuel at GM! For Political reasons! We can't see the next breakthrough anymore than the people living in the 1700's! We need to trust ingenuity and capitalism and not the nut jobs running the current dog and pony show for the express reason to steal your money and freedoms! I am afraid Common Sense is DEAD! :beat::mad2:

06-14-2009, 04:59 PM
No free lunches, agreed, every decision made has a consequence which eventually comes down to a cost. We just have to balance the costs and benefits and make the best decision we can. Improving efficiency is obviously a positive move. Ultimately using wind, wave and solar power will be the way, though the current costs don't make the argument compelling. Nuclear power is a valid power source for electricity for the medium term, but the lack of investment in that industry for the last 30 or 40 years has put its development way behind. There isn't one answer, it isn't just nuclear, solar, wind or water, but a broad spectrum of options which will all contribute in different areas and over dfferent time frames. By the way, fossil fuel is still a valid part of that equation and will be until we can fly planes using solar power.

We have 400 years of oil! :

I believe I have put this elsewhere when a similar thread was developing. While I don't know how much oil there is left in the ground, take a look at Professor Al Bartlett's lecture on Exponential Growth and then see if you still think we have 400 years of oil left. While just about every argument comes from the viewpoint of the person making it, this does seem to make logical sense. Take a look, I'd be interested in your views.

Here's the home page of the Professor.
And here is the front page of his lecture which is split into 8 x 10 minute segments for easy viewing.

The Publisher
06-14-2009, 10:56 PM
While I am sure we have plenty of oil left for our lifetimes, the concept of being dependent on foreign governments for oil is a real bad idea strategically.

04-15-2010, 09:57 PM
Following up on the original posting here, I just saw this report on Yahoo.


Take a look, plastic trash is now everywhere. When I walk my dog, I see plastic bottles, plastic bags and all sorts of junk, most of which has been washed into storm drains from the streets and then into the local rivers. As Nemo will tell you, all water ultimately leads to the oceans and this stuff doesn't break down quickly.

The Publisher
04-16-2010, 12:54 AM
There is supposed to be a giant plastic trash heap floating in the Pacific too.

04-16-2010, 06:15 PM

The Publisher
04-16-2010, 08:27 PM
For the Pacific mess, you would think someone can send out a dozen big purse seiners and net it all.

05-25-2011, 05:29 AM
Marine litter is any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment. Marine litter consists of items that have been made or used by people and deliberately discarded into the sea or rivers or on beaches; brought indirectly to the sea with rivers, sewage, storm water or winds; or accidentally lost, including material lost at sea in bad weather.

Marine litter originates from many sources and causes a wide spectrum of environmental, economic, safety, health and cultural impacts. The very slow rate of degradation of most marine litter items, mainly plastics, together with the continuously growing quantity of the litter and debris disposed, is leading to a gradual increase in marine litter found at sea and on the shores.

Deficiencies in the implementation and enforcement of existing international, regional, national regulations and standards that could improve the situation, combined with a lack of awareness among main stakeholders and the general public, are other major reasons why the marine litter problem not only remains, but continues to increase worldwide. Furthermore, marine litter is part of the broader problem of waste management, which is becoming a major public health and environmental concern in many countries.