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Friday, November 14, 2008


I saw a program last evening on plastic recycling and how it is polluting our oceans and waterways. They calculated that all the boats commercial and fishing, in the world, would not be able to accommodate the waste in the ocean. There are just not enough to make a clean-up feasible. California has an excellent project on the go whereby they filter their waste water and get an amazing amount of recyclable tonnage of plastic a year. One of the major chemical processors in the USA states that the solution is to control it at the source, that is plastic production. I think I agree with this. Make refundable or at least disposable depots available for reclaiming the waste may be one way to capture the plastic. Finding other biodegradable containers may be the other.

At any rate you see lots of plastic on the waters that you kayak in, certainly in Newfoundland you do. Partially from very bad garbage mentality and not recycling and partially by virtue of the fact that we live on an Island and are predisposed to the waste of the oceanic world. Either way plastic is so unnatural when you see it in a paddling perspective.

There are times though when you see the remnants of just a fish, a cod carcass made clean by gulls I'm sure after the food fishery here in Newfoundland. The great thing about seeing this waste is that ya just chuck it back in the water and let nature do it's thing. I just think we need to stop making plastic, it really is out of control.


Michael said...

Stan, I just finished reading 'The World Without Us' and it's account of plastic, both what we seen and the microscopic bits we don't see scared the livin' bejes out of me. I agree, we really need to clean this monster up and quickly! Great picture, BTW.

Stan Mac Kenzie said...

I never even tought of the microsopic aspect of it all, but I can now only imagine. Our club is trying to be more proactive with this with bech cleanups and such. I missed the last two because of call but certainly next year will make myself available. Every little bit can't hurt. I think I'll try that book.


bonnie said...

My club did a beach cleanup on Canarsie Pol, one of the islands in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, in September.

The beach cleanup efforts turned out to have been sponsored, at least in part, by a bottled water company.

Given that plastic water bottles were #2 on the list sorted by quantity, would we say that's appropriate, ironic, or perhaps ironically appropriate?

And of course NYC has some of the best tap water in the country. It's incredibly easy to recycle a water bottle - just take it home, stick it under the tap & fill it up again!

Obviously preaching to the choir here, and totally short of perfect myself - one of these days I've been thinking about doing a post about the collection of plastic grocery bags under the sink. They're collected becuase I DO reuse them - but I'm not as good about it as I'd like to be and the evidence is right there taking up more & more space under the sink.

But I'm trying.

Stan Mac Kenzie said...

I hear ya Bonnie on all that. It is sometimes difficult to do it 100% of the time, especially if you live in an area that does not recycle. There are still ways to do your part and at the end of the day I believe every little bit helps.


bonnie said...

Funny thing - shortly after I posted that comment, I went out to walk to the grocery store (3 blocks away).

1 block from home...


Yes, I'd managed to leave this post & promptly walk out of the apartment to go shopping without any bags!

I came back, of course!

NYC is actually good in that we are all trained to sort out our recyclables into bins. Only problem is, people put a lot more recyclables in those green & blue bins than there are uses for yet. So the more "first-person recycling" (aka "re-use") we can do, the better.

I absolutely agree with you - every little bit counts!

Stan Mac Kenzie said...

Cudos for NYC for sure. Here in NFLD they are slowly trying to implement a program. They have recyclng depots for refund stuff but nothing totally green and there absoluetly should be as we have the highest rate of obesity per capita in the country so there must be lots of waste.

Anyways those grocery store bags are my nemisis. I have so many of those green material bags and always forget them when I go to the store and I know I am not alone because the stores have taken to putting signs at the entrance ways reminding you to get your green bags before you enter. Another simple but great idea. :)