Plastic Pollution

swedishstreakMécanique

22 févr. 2014 (il y a 3 années et 1 mois)

52 vue(s)

Plastic
Pollution

M.L. Anderson, 2009

Contents


Threats to the Reef


Pollution &
Sedimentation


Facts about Plastic


Why is plastic
harmful?


Threats to Wildlife


What is being done
to help.


Recycling & other
Solutions

Natural Threats
to the
Reef


Strong waves and winds


hurricanes


Water temperature changes


Dramatic changes in salinity of water


Predators like snails and the crown of
thorn jellyfish


Overgrowth of algae


Coral reefs are threatened
from human induced causes:


Overexploitation


Pollution


Habitat loss


Invasive species


Diseases


Bleaching


Pollution and
Sedimentation


Human
-
caused, or anthropogenic pollution like
sediments, nutrients, chemicals, insecticides, oil and
debris can cause changes in water chemistry and
growth of algae that will smother corals from sunlight.


Chemicals, either poison corals or allow algae to grow.


Sediments blocks light from the zooxanthellae.



Plastic Pollution


Disposal of plastic
materials such as bags,
bottles, and six
-
pack
rings into the sea and
other areas.


Sea pollution has
occurred since the time
of the Phoenicians.


Causes problems to the
marine life as well as
for boaters.


What is plastic pollution?

Why do we use plastic?


Easy to
make.


Very cheap
.


Light weight.


Lasts for a
long time.

Plastic in the Ocean

n
A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas,
is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food
chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing
obesity, infertility...and worse.


n
Except for the small amount that’s been incinerated, every
bit of plastic ever made still exists.


Some facts about plastic


Six
-
pack rings take 450 years to decompose.

A plastic milk jug takes 1
thousand
years to
decompose.

A plastic cup takes 50
-
80 years to decompose.

Enough plastic was produced in 1970 to place
the Earth in a plastic bag.

Enough plastic film is made yearly to shrink
-
wrap Texas.

Almost every piece of plastic ever made is still
around today!


Some
facts
about plastic
pollution


Every year 150,000 tons of
plastic is dumped into the
oceans by the fishing
industry.


Every year 14 billion pounds
of trash (mostly plastic) is
put into the oceans.


More than 90% of debris on
the beaches contains plastic
.


The North Pacific Gyre
(current convergence zone)
has 1 million floating debris
items per km
2
.

Where does all the
plastic in the sea
come from?


Stormwater drain outlets and rivers
transport land pollution into the oceans.


Debris left by beach
-
goers.


Merchant shipping and fishing fleets.
(About 639,000 plastic containers are
dumped into the ocean every day.)

Why is plastic pollution harmful?


Affects marine
mammals, marine birds,
sea turtles.


More
than 100,000
animals die every year
from plastic pollution.


Little is known on
broader impacts on
marine populations and
ecosystems
.


Has an impact on man.


A Threat
to wildlife


Marine
mammals become entangled;
die in
3
ways:

1.
Drowning (big debris)

2.
Exhaustion, depletion
,
starvation (medium debris)

3.
Grow into the loop over several months.
Fur
, skin,
blubber, muscle, and vital organs are constricted
and cut through.

A Threat to wildlife


1.
Fish die from:
Exhaustion, depletion,
starvation

2.
They grow into the loop
over several months.
Skin, muscle, and vital
organs are constricted
and cut through.

Threats
to
wildlife…

Marine birds:

1.
Can also become entangled or
strangulated.

2.
Eating plastic causes intestinal
blockage, a feeling of being
full, and reduces the
absorption of nutrients.

3.
Eating toxic chemicals from
plastic. (sometimes fed to
young by parents)

Threats
to
wildlife


Sea turtles:

1.
Get caught in nets.

2.
Mistake bags for jellyfish and eat them. The bags
do not pass through the turtles and block their
intestines.

3.
Die from choking on plastic items.

4.
They are already endangered for other reasons.


Ghost Fishing?

The gear continues to catch marine life as it drops through the
open water.

The gear is usually made of non
-
biodegradable material, mostly
plastics, making it very durable and will continue catching fish
indefinitely.

The current scope of ghost fishing is unknown & almost
impossible to study, but likely makes a huge impact.

In a survey conducted in the North Sea, it was estimated that
1/4 of the rubbish on the bottom of the sea floor is fishing nets.

Occurs when
fishing gear or
equipment is
either abandoned
or lost at sea.

Ghost Fishing

There is a cycle of
capture, decay, and
attract.

As the fish stuck in this
net decay, they attract
scavenging organisms.

Once clear of this, the
net will most like
disentangle and return
to the upright position,
back to catching fish.

In addition, birds,
humans, and other
organisms may be
affected.

Ghost Fishing

Threats

to man


Boats are incapacitated by debris getting
caught in propellers
, steering
systems, and
engines.

Scuba divers and
snorkelers can
be
entangled
or affected
by drifting synthetic
fishing line
.

Recreation areas lose their
aesthetic appeal.

What has been done to help


Prevent Plastic Pollution
Campaign

International Coastal
Cleanup (ICC)

MARPOL Annex V:
international agreement
that provides reception
facilities for plastic
waste from ships and
prohibits the dumping
of plastic from all
watercrafts.

Nets have been
removed from areas
where there have been
no reported shark
attacks.

New biodegradable
plastics are being made
and tested. (They
dissolve in 20 days and
are denser than water
so
they will
sink.)

What you can do to help



Create awareness


Do beach surveys and beach and river clean
-
ups


Don

t litter (on land and in the ocean)


Use reusable containers


Adopt
-
a
-
Beach


RECYCLE! (10.5 million tons of plastic is made a
year in the US but only 1
-
2% is recycled)

What recycling can do


Recycling saves twice the energy as burning
it in an incinerator.

Recycled plastic is used to:

1.
Make trash cans, park benches, playground
equipment, kayaks, etc. (1,050 HDPE #2
milk jugs can be used to make a 6
-
foot
plastic lumber park bench.)

2.
Make special fleece
-
like fabrics that are used
in clothes and blankets.

Possible Solutions?

Cradle to cradle
--
all manufactured things

must be reusable, poison
-
free, and beneficial

over the long haul.

Green architect and designer
William McDonough is working
with the Chinese government to
build seven cities using “the
building materials of the future,”
including a fabric that is safe
enough to eat and a new,
nontoxic polystyrene.

Join the Revolution.

Be Part of the Solution.