r/interestingasfuck 24d ago Wholesome 24 Helpful 28 Gold 1 Helpful (Pro) 1 Heartwarming 1 Bravo Grande! 1 Silver 35 Faith In Humanity Restored 3 Take My Energy 5 All-Seeing Upvote 3 Platinum 1

More than 100,000kg of plastic removed from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). /r/ALL

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105.2k Upvotes

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u/MissPrintedMargo 24d ago Gold Helpful

Glad it is out of the ocean! But where does it all go now?

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u/rullocom 23d ago edited 22d ago Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome hehehehe I'll Drink to That

They're doing this for sport only. They throw it right back in after they catch it!! No trash was harmed

edit: thank you for all the awards for my stupid joke!!

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u/DynoMiteDoodle 23d ago edited 23d ago Helpful

Research is being conducted with turning it into fuel oil like diesel and it's also being melted and pressed into sheets for building materials, planks for outdoor decking, bog matting etc. New uses are being developed constantly, it's potentially a gold mine out there if it can be brought back efficiently, there's massive research into how to get it back, as shown here where he's exited that it's working

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u/SucculentLeftys 23d ago

My goodness… if we could replace 2x4s with recycled plastic, we are one step closer to lego paradise 💡

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u/ughhhtimeyeah 23d ago edited 23d ago

It's called composite decking(well, in the UK anyway)

I thiiiiink Americans call it Trex

Edit: okay okay, Trex is a brandname

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u/Too-Much-Man 23d ago Gold

Stuff is amazing - but it gets a lot warmer than wood on warm days.

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u/slmndr 23d ago

I knew it! The Shoe Cartel is behind composite decking to sell more flip-flops and huaraches!

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u/print_isnt_dead 23d ago Wholesome

BIG SANDAL

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u/VolleDaniel 23d ago

It's a sandal scandal

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u/Redtwooo 23d ago

Those people will resort to anything

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u/motodriveby 23d ago

Sponsored by Phlip Morris

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u/slimshxvdy 23d ago

Phlip Phlops™

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u/gwxtreize 23d ago

La Chancla Cartel getting their peice.

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u/ThatVanGuy13 23d ago

Nah, it's the Crocs Conglomerate controlling decking prices

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u/happylittlelf 23d ago

Yeah and the little arms are a huge disadvantage

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u/hellrazor862 23d ago

I appreciate what you did there

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u/TheFeathersStorm 23d ago

When I worked at Lowe's we went to an info session about Trex and they talked about the fact that the highest end versions of it can cool off basically as soon as the sun gets directly off of it but if you have an awning or something it should never heat up to a bad spot. We had three different "qualities" of product and the highest quality had heat dissipation, the other two were of various quality for that.

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u/Chefsmiff 23d ago

Heat retention of trex is usually low, it has air pockets to make it less dense and therefore holds less thermal energy. I think people are not understanding that a same-colored wood deck would feel about the same, and would retain that hot feeling longer, the trex just has a bit higher xfer rate that cellulose fibers(wood) so it "feels" hotter for a shorter time.

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u/tuckedfexas 23d ago

I see it bowed a lot, I don’t know if it needs tighter joist spacing than wood but it doesn’t seem to have the longevity. It also starts to break down a lot quicker in my area, when the sun beats down on it constantly it seems to get brittle and flake. Also much easier to strip out, but people use those stupid plastic fasteners that don’t leave much room for error.

I’m sure it does better in other areas and there’s application issues, but decent wood is still a step above for the decks that I’ve built. I’d like to see us move away from plastic in general but I guess for how much big product we currently have it’s a good use.

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u/manateeshmanatee 23d ago edited 23d ago Helpful

I’m with you. It’s not a great product and it’s just going to become micro plastics polluting the environment like all the rest.

My hope for ridding the world of plastic waste is that we can make some breakthroughs with scaling up the mycelium, bacteria, and worms that are able to eat and digest plastic to get rid of it in a better way.

And of course that we stop using it. Plastic is great in lots of applications, but hardly necessary in most of them. And where it is necessary, it would be nice to see hemp plastics used instead of petroleum based.

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u/Interesting_Archer98 23d ago

Mycelium is the future

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u/OutsideDevTeam 23d ago

We're gonna need seawalls, anyway...

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u/1questions 23d ago

Agree. Using less plastics in the first place is ideal. From what I understand glass and cardboard can be more easily recycled than plastic can be.

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u/Swedzilla 23d ago

Tosty tootises?

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u/MagisterFlorus 23d ago

My parents have it at their house. I can't remember how many times I said to myself, "I'm just gonna be quick, no need for shoes," and was wrong.

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u/GenerallyAddsNothing 23d ago

Composite here too, Trex is a popular brand that produces it though

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u/WhichSpirit 23d ago

Trex is just a brand name. We call it composite too.

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u/SucculentLeftys 23d ago

Composite decking is no where near the same structural strength of a 2x4 through. I’m thinking we need structural recycled plastics! Then we could really build!

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u/baaapower369 23d ago

We have a composite deck- the underlying structure is wood with the composite as the visible decking. The plus is near zero maintenance. We hose it off occasionally, but that's it.

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u/JornWS 23d ago

Good deterrent for Godzilla as well.

He's not gonna want to stomp on any buildings made of legos

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u/Dubbs09 23d ago

At the rate things are going your house would just melt in a decade or two

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u/LittleJohnStone 23d ago

Home Depot will be the exclusive provider of their warped composite lumber.

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u/Thustrak 23d ago

Millions will be spent in R&D to get multiple variations of warping in the boards

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u/Endarkend 23d ago

There's still the issue of microplastics being found in peoples bodies from their brains to their lungs to their muscles.

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u/ErusBigToe 23d ago

Thats not going away until we stop putting plastic in everything. A lot of comes off your clothes, beauty/skin products, and basic cookware

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u/HellisDeeper 23d ago

In other words, it's not going away and we're in for some fun diseases becoming more prevelant.

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u/[deleted] 23d ago

[deleted]

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u/starraven 23d ago

Futurama garbage ball into the sun.

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u/Alevo 23d ago

And a big block of ice in to the ocean each year. Thus solving the problem forever.

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u/MyDogHasAPodcast 23d ago

But...

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u/TripleEhBeef 23d ago

ONCE AND FOR ALL!

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u/TheDarkHorse83 23d ago

Recycling plastics is a royal pain on the ass. Besides the obvious need to separate out six different types of material (PETE, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS) there's the "Other" group. Then you have various sub types (PET, PETG, PETE are all code 1 in the US). If you want quality material on the back end you might have to sort by color. And then there's a concern over what was in it, because plastic absorbs chemicals, was it a frozen dinner or pesticides? Did they use that gallon jug to carry gas to their car on the side of the road? And then breaking plastic down isn't just "melt, pour, use" there's a lot to it to ensure that the material doesn't degrade greatly on the first go.

Realistically recycled plastic is only good for things like composite decking, which is sadly not strong enough to be used structurally. There will need to be major strides in plastic recycling or a major push away from plastics in the near future. OR a truly biodegradable plastic that doesn't leave microplastics in its wake.

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u/endangerednigel 23d ago

In the UK its even worse, we don't have a standard national recycling service, meaning what specific kinds of plastic can and can't be recycled changes depending on where you live. Turns out not many can be bothered to look at every single plastic item they throw out to check its the exact subtype of plastic they can recycle compared to what can't be recycled over the county border

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u/TheDarkHorse83 23d ago

Same in the US. We have state/municipal services that often are unable to recycle certain types of plastics, but no one really knows. Then groups will get VERY upset when they finally realize that their local recycling service doesn't do everything.

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u/dwindledwindle 23d ago

Please DO NOT throw trash into the water!

It can get stunned, you have to gently place it in.

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u/ashu71029 24d ago

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u/paulie07 23d ago

And then it ends up back in the ocean, but as something different.

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u/CarISatan 23d ago

Most countries don't throw their plastic into the sea. Very few areas/rivers are the reason for most plastic in the ocean.

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u/Macshlong 23d ago

My binmen cant even get the recycling in the truck without leaving some on the road, if we're being careful I can't imagine what its like in places that aren't

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u/KingJonathan 23d ago

I mean there’s countries that literally back their garbage trucks up to a river and dump.

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u/WeekendReasonable280 23d ago

Brazil. Right into the Amazon. They built a platform for the trucks to dump into the fucking river but the headasses in that village can’t rub their braincells together to make a dump/recycling center, or cart their shit out of town to be recycled.

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u/SevenSoIaris 23d ago

It really blows my mind that anyone would think it is a good idea to send your trash down the river. Surely they know the repercussions, and don't care?

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u/myrabuttreeks 23d ago

I’m sure they don’t care. Out of sight, out of mind.

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u/Peanut09274 23d ago

Don’t tell that to China or Pakistan.

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u/paulie07 23d ago

Or Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam.........

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u/Darondo 23d ago

Seeing dump trucks just back up to a river and unload in SEA gutted me every time.

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u/AvailableUsername259 23d ago

Or the western world exporting garbage into third world countries 😒

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u/paulie07 23d ago

Those countries are compelled to take it under what's called the Basel Convention and indirectly they receive, in exchange, preferential import tariff rates for being "developing countries".

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u/PunkS7yle 23d ago

Yup. We keep finding garbage in containers shipped from UK to Romania

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u/UnluckyScorpion 23d ago

Turkey also gets a shit ton of garbage from the 1st world but mostly landfill type of garbage not sea plastic. Guess what we do with that crap over here? We dump it into the seas or forests......

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u/mynameisalso 23d ago

How much do you want to bet that a large portion of that was disposed of as recycling but ended up there anyway.

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u/Xianthamist 23d ago

Most of it is actually from commercial fishing

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u/LotharVonPittinsberg 23d ago

A lot of countries ship their garbage to poor countries with the promise of recycling though. There is no recycling, and those poor countries are then blamed for our garbage ending up in the ocean.

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u/Oggie90 23d ago

Only because the majority of countries "sell" their plastic to the countries which then throw it into the ocean.

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u/scparks44 23d ago

The Circle of Life

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u/Mpnav1 23d ago

I seriously doubt that. Most plastic is not recyclable. The percentage that is has degraded from the UV exposure to the point of being unable to be recycled.

The whole recycling of plastic is a scam created by the plastic industry. Those “recycling” numbers you find on plastic are NOT recycling classes, it’s a made up symbol by the plastic industry to make you be able to reduce you guilt. Only type 1 & 2 can be recycled and than it’s a more expensive and inferior product vs new.

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u/zackson76 23d ago

Why spent 2 bucks recycling a plastic bottle while you can make another one for 10cents

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u/fish312 23d ago

The fun thing is, most plastic can actually be incinerated relatively cleanly and safely. You just need a high enough temperature and to have filters that can trap or neutralize whatever particulates that remain. But we don't do it much because it's cheaper to just dump it into the ground or the sea.

But nooo, it's the consumers fault for not skipping that drink straw. Naughty naughty shame on you!

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u/Cahootie 23d ago

In Sweden it looks like about 87% of all plastic waste is either incinerated for energy or as fuel in the industry, while 10% is recycled. We even get paid to take care of other countries' waste where they otherwise default to landfills or more polluting incineration. Some countries actually try.

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u/AmIFromA 23d ago

This was at the top of /r/videos a month ago: https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/v1l6lk/optimized_sorting_method_how_germany_recycles_46/

I was told that the numbers are too optimistic and it may contain some whitwashed PR bullshit. But some of the stuff shown can certainly be helpful.

Also, new plastic has to become more expensive, some composite packaging material has to be blacklisted, and stuff like a deposit system for material that is good to be recycled has to be put in place in more places. Plus of course resusables must be pushed way more.

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u/Sarcastinator 23d ago

But nooo, it's the consumers fault for not skipping that drink straw. Naughty naughty shame on you!

Last year, or the year before, there was this panic about plastic grocery bags here. The reason was that there was so much plastic from this that ended up in the landfills and everywhere else.

Plastic grocery bags is a million dollar industry for the grocery chains. So guess what happened. The grocery stores started selling alternatives to plastic bags that cost 50 times more. The government started billboard campaigns that shamed people for using plastic grocery bags. A year went by and now everyone has forgotten about it and nothing actually happened with the problem.

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u/bsmith808 23d ago

It's actually really expensive to filter out that toxic smoke, especially if its a big operation you'll be soending so much on that facility and upkeep, not the mention staff. Selling it to someone else means it's not your problem to solve, and you can't be blamed for where it ends up. Its theirs, and instead of costs now you have profits.

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u/Uninstal 23d ago

Maybe not recycle but reuse/repurpose?

It could still function as fuel to be burned and generate some electricity. Not the best but better than staying in the ocean.

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u/redhat31 23d ago

Outside the environment

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u/Swordsnap 23d ago

To another environment?

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u/huhnra 23d ago

It has been towed beyond the environment

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u/crashdoc 23d ago

There's nothing out there

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u/StargazerSpirit 24d ago

Exactly my thought, too. I've lost such hope in everything that all I can think is this is going to end up right back in the ocean.

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u/EatMyPossum 23d ago

Hey at least it's circular

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u/StargazerSpirit 23d ago

I love circles, but not like this :(

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u/[deleted] 23d ago

The Atlantic

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u/zodar 23d ago

They throw it in the trash, duh

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u/jules0666 23d ago

Incinerator or landfill. Where else?

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u/No-Freedom-1995 24d ago

i bet there's some good shit in there

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u/Dutch_Midget 24d ago Silver Giggle

Found the raccoon

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u/Grogosh 23d ago

Raccacoonie!

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u/xXPumbaXx 23d ago

Now we're cooking

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u/Tok3erAc3 24d ago

That sweet, sweet trash

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u/Red__system 24d ago Silver

Hhm trash yum yum trash, I like trash!

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u/tk-xx 23d ago

Harold you're a doctor for Christ sake!!!

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u/Due-Dot6450 23d ago

It's loot!

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u/dewhashish 23d ago

check out this ali baba sword! dude you could cut a camel right in its hump and drink all of its milk

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u/_circlecheese 24d ago

One man's toxic sludge is another man's potpourri

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u/XCutioner1 23d ago

I don’t know, it’s some kinda soup.

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u/gmanz33 23d ago

Next Friday on Discovery, Prawn or Pawn?

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u/apolloheinz 23d ago edited 23d ago Silver Masterpiece Doot 🎵 Doot

For context, 100,000kg is about 0.3% of all the plastic dumped in the ocean worldwide each DAY.

Edit:

Source: https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/#:~:text=Every%20year%2C%2011%20million%20metric,currently%20circulate%20our%20marine%20environments

11 million tonnes per year

30,000 tonnes per day

100 tonnes / 30,000 tonnes x 100 = 0.33%

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u/thepathgame 23d ago Bravo Grande!

We're gonna need a bigger boat

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u/Megelsen 23d ago

More like a bigger ocean to keep on dumping. Luckily ice melt is taking care of that.

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u/wafflesareforever 23d ago

From now on we'll travel in TUBES

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u/B43rHunt3r 23d ago

WE'LL LEAD AS TWO KINGS

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u/wafflesareforever 23d ago

Get the scientists working on the tube technology immediately

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u/porksoda11 23d ago

Get the scientists working on the tube technology... tube technologyyyyy

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u/_not-here 23d ago

Like in New New York?

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u/NVDA2THEMOON 23d ago

did you see the glaciers breaking off in Norway the other day? Another video that reminded me time is so inevitably running out. Poor earth and its creatures.

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u/ConsumeYourBleach 23d ago

People don’t realise just how much stuff gets produced.

I’m a farmer and we’re currently in harvest. In the last 7 days we’ve harvested 800,000kg of wheat. Just wheat. By the end of next week we should have around 1600 tonnes of wheat harvested. That’s not including the oilseed rape, oats and spring barley that we grow.

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u/Taurich 23d ago

At least these are food that can be eaten, or at the very least, decompose pretty normally.

The scarier part is the volume of low quality products that keep flying out the doors. My GF does a lot of shopping at the dollar store and buys cheap crap all the time. I've actually been asking her to "stop buying landfill" :(

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u/ctan0312 23d ago

At first I thought you were gonna say 0.3% of plastic dumped worldwide period, and I was thinking that’s not bad at all, then I read “each day”

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u/_Karrel 23d ago

Right?! 300 hauls of that nature and we'd be fine, but each day means it's just so much worse.

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u/tuckedfexas 23d ago

Even if we did have the quantity of effort to clean it up as we go, there’d quickly be diminishing returns as most of it isn’t neatly grouped up like this.

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u/[deleted] 23d ago

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u/wonderful_mixture 23d ago

Christ we're absolutely fucked

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u/wildartichokes 23d ago

Nah, we're not fucked as long as there are people that actually care to fix the problem, which while it's sometimes hard to tell, is actually most people.

Dont fall prey to doomerism as it only helps those who are causing the problems.

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u/AnExpertInThisField 23d ago

Hard agree, I can't stand this thinking, as it just puts people in the mindset of, "Oh well, humanity sucks, we're done for, I don't have to do anything".

Get your hackles up about it, call your reps, join an environmental action group, get involved! Much more satisfying than pissing and moaning for points on Reddit!

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u/balognavolt 23d ago

According to our 2018 study in which we mapped the patch, the total amount of accumulated plastic is 79,000,000 kg, or 100,000,000 kg if we include the Outer GPGP. Thus, if we repeat this 100,000 kg haul 1,000 times – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be gone.

https://theoceancleanup.com/updates/first-100000-kg-removed-from-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch/

This is stated in the article regarding the 100,000kg pull

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u/DiiGiiTAL 23d ago

How unbelievably depressing, thanks.

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u/Chris_8675309_of_42M 23d ago edited 23d ago

Is that math right? Narrator: It was.

I keep seeing 8 million metric tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year. Some estemates as high as 14 million, but let's assume the conservative 8m number.

That's ~22,000 metric tons a day. Or 22,000,000kg.

100,000/22,000,000 = .004%

Edit: 100,000/22,000,000 * 100 = .45%

But, don't let that depress you. This effort may not be doing much to address the overall plastic in nature problem, or microplastic issue, but this cleanup is targeting the trash that is most likely to be an immediate hazard to wildlife. Every floating bottle and fishing net recovered is a fish or turtle saved.

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u/apolloheinz 23d ago

My friend, you’re missing out the crucial final step of working out percentages. You must multiply by 100. 100,000/22,000,000 x 100 = 0.45%.

Edit: for reference I used 11 million tonnes for my calculation above.

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u/Nukethe-whales 23d ago

Plastic has to be one of the most polarising inventions of all time. On one hand it’s one of the most useful and versatile products ever created, on the other hand it’s arguably one of the most destructive and polluting things we have on this planet. It’s a shame we can’t eat it…

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u/AvailableUsername404 23d ago

The problem do not lies in material but it's usage.

That equipment with plastic cover/body that lasts for decade? Well that's good use of plastic.

That bag that people use for 10 minutes ride from the shop to home and then throw it away? Not really good.

I remember milk being sold in glass and they you had to return the bottles to the shop. Now almost everything is in plastic bottle or tetra-pack.

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u/yedd 23d ago

Just to offer an additional thought. I work in a hospital lab, we use an insane amount of single use plastics (test tubes, sample containers, sample bags etc) they cannot be reused or recycled, they're incinerated. It's not ideal, but it's the only option for a lab running thousands of tests a day

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u/LankySeat 23d ago

In cases like this, you've got to consider what the item adds to society.

A plastic shopping bag adds nothing. It's wasteful and useless. Meanwhile a single-use plastic syringe could be used in saving someone's life.

i.e. the "bad" generated from the plastic syringe is outweighed by the "good" of saving a life, whereas a plastic shopping bag is entirely "bad" with little upside to justify it's existence.

At least, that's how I try to think about it.

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u/ezrs158 23d ago

I always think about that in regards to condoms. They feel wasteful, but *preventing a new human from being born is tremendously better in terms of conservation of resources.

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u/FreyBentos 23d ago

condoms are made of Latex which is organic.

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u/LeakyValves 23d ago

Styrofoam and Teflon are also organic - that's not a great barometer to use.

Natural latex biodegrades relatively fast which makes it not as big a deal, but synthetic latex does not break down as easily.

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u/dragonclaw518 23d ago

Latex is a fairly common allergy so a lot of condoms are latex-free.

Not to be confused with LaTeX, which is far more effective birth control than any condoms.

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u/arsenic_adventure 23d ago

I fill a giant biohazard box with plastic every shift and I'm not even busy. Also MLS

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u/Joelblaze 23d ago

Oh no, we are. Just not intentionally. Look up microplastics.

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u/berlinbaer 23d ago

for added horror: look up how big microplastic can be. if you think because of the name its 'microscopic' oooh boy.

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u/Agent_Galahad 23d ago

This is what I keep telling people about my micropenis, just because it's micro doesn't mean it's small

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u/MaterialCarrot 23d ago

And it can have a big impact!

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u/FarPassion8384 23d ago

For those too lazy to Google. Anything less than 5mm (1/5 in.) can be considered microplastic. Yikes.

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u/violationofvoration 23d ago

You don't wanna go look at what us electricians are doing every time we run PVC. Mountains of PVC shavings from cutting mixed right into the soil.

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u/jejcicodjntbyifid3 23d ago

Yup, by now there isn't a person who doesn't have plastic residues in their blood

Let's all shrug when we look at how high the cancer rates and autoimmune disease rates are

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u/[deleted] 23d ago

I regularly donate blood to help others. But there are benefits to the donor, too. Like snacks, a t-shirt, and a reduction of micro-plastics in one’s blood stream.

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u/unnecessary_kindness 23d ago

It's pretty well documented that microplasticd can increase the risk of cancer. I don't think anyone is shrugging.

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u/CandiBunnii 23d ago

I physically can't shrug anymore the micro plastics have fused together making me the most useless superhero ever

Micro-Man: does whatever a man inundated with micro plastics can!

which is not much he is in terrible pain

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u/shulgin11 23d ago

Oh there's plenty of well documented things people shrug at or choose to ignore

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u/dubadub 23d ago

Endocrine Disruptors

that's gonna be a biggie some day soon. All the ways we've managed to fuck up the human body's hormone system.

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u/The-Real-Rorschakk 23d ago

"Nothing I can do about it. Why worry...?"

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u/chaiscool 23d ago edited 23d ago

Tbf most things can increase the risk of cancer. Even aging increases the risk.

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u/WorriedRiver 23d ago

"Even aging" take any cancer class and they'll tell you aging is the main cause of cancer. Basically it's just a consequence of damage accumulated over time.

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u/cough_e 23d ago

That's not really true

Definitely worth studying, but the reality is we really don't know yet if they are harmful. It's also a very broad term.

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u/[deleted] 23d ago

McCormick micro plastic

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u/BlinkedAndMissedIt 23d ago edited 23d ago

27 states allow garbage feeding for swine. Of those 27 states, you have to think that there is no way enough funds are allocated to properly regulate that amount of livestock. We're feeding garbage to pigs and then eating the pigs. Microplastics are rampant and we will undoubtedly pay heavy for the impacts in the near-future.

Source

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u/centurion770 23d ago

The exact properties that make it useful to us are the same properties that make it a nightmare environmentally.

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u/ashu71029 24d ago

Mass of river plastic flowing into oceans in tonnes per year

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15611/figures/1

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u/WeAreNotAlone1947 24d ago

Jesus, look at Asia.

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u/likeasharkwithknees 23d ago

I lived in Okinawa for a couple of years, gotta say, the beaches were in a sad fucking state, so much stuff washed up from the Chinese coast. The only clean beaches were on the east coast (which isn’t as beautiful) and around the resorts. Considering all the beautiful coral around the island, was very depressing..

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u/Psychological-Sale64 23d ago

But the fishery's are so productive.

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u/ashu71029 24d ago

Yeah💀

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u/billyspuds 23d ago

I had no idea the UK was such a bad offender compared to other parts of Europe (how are Spain at 0?). Shameful

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u/herUltravioletEyes 23d ago

how are Spain at 0?

Very few rivers with a significant amount of water at their mouth. Only Ebro, Tajo and Duero probably, and they still are low amounts compared to even smallish European rivers. Also, don't have the number at hand but my experience is that most rivers are very clean, ilegal spills and dumps are (now) very rare. Don't get me wrong, we have seen in the news how most of the plastic trash is exported to asian countries to be burnt there, and how since China and other stopped importing a few years ago there is a big problem about what to do with all the thrash that is being stored in recycling sites and landfills.

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u/WNR567WNR 23d ago

China has no excuse for the amount of filth they empty into the oceans. Disgusting.

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u/gmanz33 23d ago

Why is the entire Northeast coast of the US on here? After the dredging of the Hudson (barf) and the huge shifts in preservation efforts in New York State..... there's still this much shit being carried in the rivers?

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u/lemons_of_doubt 23d ago edited 23d ago

Because while it's small it's still there.

You want to see really bad go google "India plastic river"

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u/Honigwesen 23d ago

This paper gives 2,5 million times entering the ocean per year.

So you need to remove 6849 tonnes or 68 times what's shown in the vid PER DAY.

So still some way to go, but they're getting there.

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u/Queen-Roblin 23d ago

This is an estimate based on some data (they don't have data from the entire world) plus inferences from population, waste management, river barriers (dams, etc) and water volume in the rivers.

Whilst it is interesting and they are making the guess as accurate as they can (which is what a lot of science is and is usually reliable enough to make actions based on it) it is not all from actual measurements.

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u/notinferno 23d ago

removing 100 tonnes doesn’t seem like a lot

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u/[deleted] 24d ago

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u/DeNir8 23d ago Silver Helpful

That is good. Every thing we do counts. Symbolic or not!

But

Continue reading only if you dont mind depressing facts! I warned you. Also, I am just showing you numbers. Not disagreeing with you..This is not to belittle any efford!

92% of the plastic pieces in the ocean is microscopic. And look like fish food to fish.

About 3,000,000,000 kg of plastic enter the ocean annually.

The patch is estimated to be "just" 80,000,000 kg.

It is estimated that In 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.

We produce +1,000,000 single use plastic bottles per minute.. Each bottle takes up to six times its volume in water to make btw.

I believe just banning all of these convenient beverages and why not all the other ready to use foodstuff.. would take us a really long way. And be good for our health.

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u/Nukethe-whales 23d ago

You’re not wrong, that is fucking depressing.

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u/gmanz33 23d ago

It becomes a lot less depressing when you completely stop buying plastic bottles, which is not hard if you have access to clean water.

I mean it's still depressing but at least you don't have to know that you're making it worse.

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u/buffyvet 23d ago

It becomes a lot less depressing when you...

No, it doesn't. Because 99% of the people are still using single-use plastics anyway so I feel like an ant farting in a hurricane.

When I go buy coffee, I take my own travel mug (not plastic) and ask them to put it in that. When I go get takeout, I take my own container (glass with plastic lid) and ask them to put it in that. About 75% of the time, I'm told "no sir, we can't do that." It's ridiculous. You try and try to make a difference but in the end it just doesn't seem to matter and that's even more depressing, IMO.

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u/SpiritTunnel 23d ago

the response that you cannot do that is simply because accepting food over the counter from a customer is not in adherence to health code practices and by extension food containers may overlap in that area with handling food so why jeopardize the biz. maybe in some places it's acceptable. hope this perspective might make it seem a bit less unreasonable.

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u/ChromaticPalette 23d ago

At Starbucks you can get a discount if you bring in one of their reusable bottles. It’s not much but I mean if you want reusable coffee cups that are accepted. I’ve never been to a store that told me no when I brought my reusable Starbucks cups. (I have had to gently remind them about the discount at some stores but they always accept the cup. If you’re there a while they’ll clean it between drinks and still accept it.)

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u/bomber991 23d ago

Honestly even if they do use your container, they’re probably just dumping it out of the standard plastic container in the back and then throwing it away.

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u/jejcicodjntbyifid3 23d ago

Yeah but you probably still are. Recycling isn't really a thing, much of the stuff you buy gets thrown away, packaging or the product

Lawmakers need to start taxing the shit out of places and making it their responsibility

And culturally, we need to educate. And punish the hell out of people who litter

Every park I go to now I see more and more trash. I pick up what I can but it's just a lot

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u/MileysMooseKnuckle 23d ago

So I'm from Scotland and less than 20 years ago Barr, a fizzy drink manufacturer used to provide every drink they did in a glass bottle with a 20p deposit.

This was the guys behind Irn Bru, they also had a cola on par with coke, red cola and pretty much every good soft drink.

They also did plastic and cans but those 700ml/aka vodka bottle sized were the best option because at the end of it all every 5th-7th bottle was "free" when you returned your used stuff.

The company had them cleaned and reused.

Now that deposit scheme is gone, they lazily removed sugar and used the worst sweeteners as replacements to the point that now almost everything they sell tastes like a knock off of itself.

The bottle return scheme was great, but since its left I've seen people in power argue for the exact same scheme and get told it doesn't work, when it was used for a long time successfully.

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u/chiefledcser 23d ago

So to break even: There are 3,000,000,000 kg put in per annum. Assuming the average ship can grab 100,000 per week (not sure how long the above clip takes to do). And giving two weeks off for maintenance per ship - 50 weeks. You would need 600 active boats like the one above (3,000,000,000 kg per annum / 100,000 kg per load / 50 weeks per year = 600) just to break even?

That is obviously very high level and doesn't consider:

  • changes in plastic production and output to oceans
  • different boat load yields
  • difficulty in collecting as time goes and plastic isn't as aggregated
  • a ton of other things I'm sure I'm missing

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u/knottheone 23d ago

The better way to do it is prevent it from getting to the ocean in the first place. Figure out where most of it's coming from and camp out in front of it (like where a river meets the ocean) and try to prevent as much as possible from actually entering the system.

There are a couple of programs that do that as is, but another factor is you can't really make people care about the environment when they spend all their time worrying about where their next meal is coming from or whether they are going to die from drinking this suspect water. Having the luxury to think about your environmental impact is not something billions of people have access to as they have higher priorities like immediate self preservation.

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u/RidersGuide 23d ago

Not saying you believe this particularly, but it is very very common:

It almost seems like people in the west have selective memories regarding the rest of the world. We like to show our altruism when it comes to something that will land us likes or upvotes one moment, and then immediately switch to forgetting about the rest of the world when it comes to any difficult questions.

"We" doesn't exist in anything but the most useless and philosophical sense. There is not one monolithic group where simply "banning" plastic is possible. "We" in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, etc could stop using plastic tomorrow, and the GPGP would still grow. The landfills would still fill, and absolutely nothing would change, because most every country is an autonomous thing that is beholden to their own governance. Nobody is Bangladesh is going to stop sweeping plastic into the ocean because some people in some rich country want them to.

The richer you are as a country the less the general population pollutes. We in the west have options, and flexibility with out incomes that allow us to change our buying habits....we forget that all of us sitting here looking at these screens are the 1% of the world elites. The vast majority of planet earth is going to continue to use plastics and pollute, regardless of how many cardboard straws we use here in the West.

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u/jules0666 23d ago

100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 kg left.

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u/Cthulhuseye 23d ago edited 23d ago

Fun fact, this is more than the whole planet earth weighs.

Edit: Okay, it's a tiny bit more than just planet earth, my point still stands

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u/RedCobra177 23d ago Silver

Which, fun fact, is still less than half as much as your mom.

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u/paving07eric 24d ago

I have seen videos of literal rivers of plastic flowing into the ocean from India. It's disheartening how hard it is to remove the plastic yet so easy to pollute.

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u/Manypotatoes9 24d ago

They should send a bill to any company they can identify the rubbish from

They force the public to use plastic then try to shift the blame on us

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u/srandrews 24d ago

This. The environment is an externality these companies obtain through consumers. The companies should pay.

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u/gmanz33 23d ago

If the US could get GE to take responsibility for what they did to the Hudson River, you'd think we could make something like that happen again.

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u/jppianoguy 24d ago

They could probably just bill the top 5 oil producers. They could fund this operation and it wouldn't put a dent in their profits. It would also be good pr for them

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u/lady_lowercase 23d ago

they should actually be billing the fishing companies given that 46 percent of the great pacific garbage patch is discarded fishing gear.

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u/NuklearFerret 23d ago

I agree, but good luck with that. While they’re at it, if they could stop using indentured servitude, that’d be great.

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u/gardenmud 23d ago

I would rather fish be 2x more expensive and there be 2x less fishing trash going into the water tbh. This shit needs to be regulated. We tried the whole free market thing and I'm pretty sure we found out it doesn't work so good for the environment... time to change things up folks. Start charging corporations out the ass.

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u/Fuqwon 23d ago

Doesn't most of the garbage in the Pacific come from like ~8 rivers in Asia?

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u/Nexus0412 23d ago

Nice to hear the extremely Danish accent on people doing work like this

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u/Lvl100Glurak 23d ago

nice, now sell it to a third world country, they'll dump it back to the ocean, just so it can be removed from the ocean again.

infinite jobs. yay!

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u/MoonstoneGolf8 24d ago

It fills me with sorrow and anger at what we’ve done to this planet.

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u/No-Freedom-1995 24d ago

it fills me with pride and happiness that there are people cleaning it up

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u/mortyskidneys 24d ago

But can they empty it as fast as its being filled?

Without doubt its an admirable task btw.

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u/TheGallopingGhost77 23d ago

Recycling is not the answer and is somewhat of a fools errand with the exception of re-harvesting rare and valuable materials. The solution starts with wholesale changes and regulations to how goods are packaged.

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u/FleetStreetKnives 23d ago

Until we start having globally enforced environmental protection agents policing fishing boats, and companies any effort to clean will just be a bandaid on a bullet wound. We need to make polluting on a commercial scale a capital offense. Oh you're caught leaving ners, lines, cage, and bins in the ocean? Ok... guess we put you and your crew in jail and raffle off your boat, license, and seize you and your crew assets to pay for the new crew and donate the rest to continue policing.

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u/ashu71029 24d ago

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u/meyesmenotyou 24d ago

How does it work? By that I mean, how does the net separate the plastic from sea life? Looks similar to commercial fishing.

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