This sounds like a Nancy Drew book in real life.
> He also knew the location of the container - in a secluded sea cave accessible only at low tide.
So they've been dealing with this mystery for almost 40 years and this guy knew where the problem was coming from the entire time?
It happens in Engineering all the time too, where you talk to the one user in ten-thousand who happens to have a keen eye for the exact sequence of events on the display, and their careful recitation of the sequence of frames on the display is enough for you to piece together the system state at the time of a failure.
It's rare that engineers talk to users, and it's probably equally rare for environmentalists to talk to individual farmers looking for information.
You can think of there being interaction and coordination graphs with the same nodes. Both are getting bigger (more nodes) and denser (more edges). But the interaction one is getting denser faster.
tl:dr 50/100 years ago it would have been harder to talk to the fisherman, but also way less trash in the ocean to ask about.
Until this became a big campaign with a point of contact and so forth, he probably had no hope of getting any real action, even if he had put it all together mentally and tried to harangue authorities into checking out his theory.
Just think of the patina, the history and the kudos. Perfect gift. I would buy one if I had a landline.
By which, the OP means "marijuana".
By which, the OP means "WEED".
What is damaging is the brute ugliness of modern materialism. We don't just use plastic to manufacture surgical tools, we use it to make plastic toy that we ship halfway round the world to give away with an equally repugnant 'happy meal' from McDonalds. Then we throw it away (hopefully into a bin) along with all its plastic wrapping.
That's not to say I don't agree with you - I massively support a ban on throw away plastic too (and more). I just think we need to be careful about demonising plastic as a material.
Quickly, distributor countries would solve garbage problem as every country returns plastic, metal, tires, etc that is not biodegradable/recycable. As we saw, some countries absolutely does not want to deal with the garbage from other countries that goods are shipped to. They know it costs so much to deal with that it's better for other countries to internalise the cost.
You would still have your plastic benefits and without worrying about the impact on environment.
It would be impossible to say, without knowing the numbers - both of damage, as well as constructive, healing, or life-saving purposes.
For instance - think of all the things plastics have made possible, that no other material is capable of (or works as well). I'm thinking things like medical implants, as well as more mundane things like adhesives and tapes, and products based on those - for instance, how much infection have bandaids helped to prevent?
Then there's clothing, automotive interiors lessening injury in accidents, as well as use as a material that is lighter weight to lower fuel consumption for a variety of vehicles, among other uses.
I don't think you can paint plastics completely in a terrible light, just like you can't nuclear radiation, and any number of other things.
At worst, they are all double-edged swords, and we must as a species either decide to get rid of them entirely, or learn to use them properly. In the case of plastics, I doubt that the former will be the route we take for a variety of reasons - mainly though because their benefits seem to far outweigh their detriments (unless and until we have hard numbers for both, though, that's as unsupported as your original proposed claim - but it seems like that's what we've mostly decided).
So we need to learn how to better process and manufacture them, how to better manage their shipping and transportation, and how we dispose or recycle them (whatever that ultimately means).
So it's a question of ultimate values.
However, I think we should be seriously be considering a cap-and-trade approach to managing it.
This could also be a tool to get corporations to use recycled material effectively. Post-consumer recycled material could either not count against the quota, or could be counted at a different rate than "virgin" plastic.
The real problem is that people don't seem to appreciate just how amazingly durable plastics are (or the companies try to dissuade that in order to ensure their revenue stream...), and instead waste them carelessly.
Well, given the vast range of utility and the fact that plastics have been in use for over 3000 years, probably (both the word “plastics” as a label for them and fully synthetic plastics are early 20th century inventions, though.)
That's just not very likely to happen from a basic chemistry point of view.
Plastic tends to be quite stable--that's the whole point. However, that stability means that there is almost nothing to be gained by breaking plastic down--certainly not energy. And, in the ocean, practically everything plastic could provide when broken down is far more abundant and easier to access by other means.
Consequently, there is no good reason to evolve the ability to consume plastic.
Given that amount of plastic waste that humans put into the ocean is already on the scale comparable with a mass of a lot of fish species, an organism that can consume it can have a nice evolutionary advantage.
> That's just not very likely to happen from a basic chemistry point of view.
Actually, it has already happened (DOI 10.1126/science.aad6359, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6278/1196). However, do note that there are many types of plastic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic#Types) - the linked article is about degradation of PET specifically.
Because the energy expended to break down the plastic means that it is outcompeted by the bacteria who get their materials by other means unless plastic is the only thing available.
In the ocean, there is always lots of other things available.
Perhaps this will turn out like the evolution of lignin-modifying enzymes, but those took a LONG time to come about even while lignin is far less stable than most plastics.
Probably depends on if you're having to justify it to someone who wants to 100% ban all plastic or someone who wants a silly phone simply because they like Garfield.
People die in the water wearing running shoes.
Then most of the body decomposes, but the feet stay in the shoes, which float on the surface due to the buoyant cushy soles (often containing air bladder cushions).
If the global temperature rises a few degrees, the consequences will be catastrophic, but I somehow think we as a species will somehow survive (albeit many many many people will likely die).
Whereas if in 50 years there is 50-85% less oxygen in the air, I have a feeling that humans will be in a considerably worse position.
But who am I to kid, both events are likely going to happen and we will soon learn the meaning of Fermi's "Great Filter".
Phytoplankton gain energy by photosynthesis, so how would they consume plastic microparticles (most of which are probably larger than the plankton)?
I can't find any good sources right now but here's some information (with references to NASA and MIT). Here's one relevant bit:
> Along with sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, phytoplankton require a variety of other nutrients from the water including nitrogen, phosphorous and iron. The most important are nitrogen and phosphorous which are essential to survival and reproduction. Nitrogen is in short supply in some areas but in other areas, phosphorous is limited. Phytoplankton cannot continue to grow when one or the other has been used up.
I'm having trouble finding references to support my claim, other than phytoplankton attaching themselves to plastic particles, which are then consumed by zooplankton, or plastic particles blocking sunlight thereby preventing photosynthesis, but nothing about actual plastic "consumption".
So if anything the plastic might be beneficial, assuming that it's able to decompose it and absorb only those atoms it actually needs as nutrients.
That's kind of what the person you are replying to is saying: if the plant is absorbing it, it's obviously been decomposed into its constituents and is actually beneficial to it.
It doesn't work the same as it does for an animal that eats in the standard way you use the word eat.
I was a bit confused (and at work) before but I was originally thinking of some species of dinoflagellates who hunt/absorb/engulf prey (which I assumed to be larger than atoms), granted they are the exception. I could only find a study which noted higher concentrations of varying plankton/organisms (some dinofl.) near plastic and partially related, on land some lifeforms were found to process PET bottles. Life will hopefully find a way to process our trash before the ecosystem collapses ;)
Wow, is this really a thing? Got any links on the subject? I wouldn't have thought that they could perceive sound/vibration in any capacity, if only due to their limited cognition.
I'm not a biologist (or scientist of any sort), so my knowledge and terminology is severely limited, but as I understand it, sound creates pressure waves, which if strong enough, can literally kill plankton, such as used with "air guns" for oil exploration. Here's one study with a snippet from the abstract:
> Here we present evidence that suggests seismic surveys cause significant mortality to zooplankton populations.
Of course, I'm aware that random man-made things polluting the oceans is a bad thing in general, but in this specific case, if the plastic is just stuck there forever, is it still pollution in practical terms? The electronics inside the phones probably won't pass modern environmental standards (e.g. RoHS), so let's forget about the electronics for now and only focus on the plastic.
On the one hand, does the plastic release toxic chemicals in high enough concentration as it decomposes (slowly?)? On the other hand, does the container and its cargo somehow become a new shelter/habitat for certain species of marine life?
Nanoplastics concentrate toxic compounds within themselves, smuggling them past animals' defense system. This does not happen with rock. There has not been enough time for animals to evolve systems to remove nanoplastics from their bodies.
You might try DOI 10.1039/C8NR09321K (https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2019/nr/c8nr0...).
In summary, for whatever reason it seems that nanoparticles of some plastics readily penetrate and accumulate in biological tissues. There are also chemicals that will adsorb onto these nanoparticles. This can make a chemical at a given concentration more toxic to an organism, or even potentially make something toxic that was previously not.
Perhaps you need an analogy:
Consider if a company were to sell you a plastic hamburgers disguised as a real hamburgers (i.e. how advertising food products used to be before being outlawed). Now, pretend you could swallow and ingest a hamburger whole (without chewing i.e. how plankton eat). What do you think will happen to your body?
Here is a video in case you are unable to follow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beUhzQAkanM
Yet another reason why it baffles me that anyone wants one of these things as a pet.
Cats are smart enough not to eat feces, theirs or anyone else's. They're also smart enough to do their best to bury their own feces so they don't stink up your place.
In contrast to cats, these dog "things" can actually be very useful, and extremely loyal , working animals.
Would you please consider editing to remove the snarky jabs?
> Here is a video in case you are unable to follow:
This is patronizing and rude.
And the cargo is not stuck on the bottom of the sea permanently either; it's periodically washing ashore and causing ongoing pollution and litter problems.
I think the above comment is questioning whether this container is causing `adverse' change. If not then I suppose this particular case wouldn't be classified as pollution.
The problem is not litter per se, but how it degrades over time. Shells become sand, leaves become soil. Glass becomes sea glass. Plastics become deadly blockages in animals stomachs.
It's the same as when sea urchins devour whole kelp forests, rendering parts of the sea floor totally barren. One or two urchins aren't a big deal but when they breed without limits they can completely destroy an ocean ecosystem. And so we kill them off when we need to to try to be good stewards of our planet.
The very existence of beaches at all is the result of the overwhelming dead remains of billions of diatoms and crushed shells. I have no doubt there would be a totally different ecosystem if it weren't for their remains.
> The container remains inaccessible and it is not known how much of its cargo is sealed within it.
> In the meantime, both Ar Viltansou and local officials say they will continue to harvest Garfields from the coastline.
>But now, the source of the problem has been found - a lost shipping container.
Isn't that the most obvious?
The rubber ducky container is also interesting.
2. It might not be possible. Helicopters will need a somewhat direct line of sight to the container (which might be tucked in a cave), boats probably won't reach (too close to the rocks#, submarines... Lol.
The only viable approach is probably by land, which means months of construction work to bulldoze whatever obstacles there are... Which brings us back to point 1, cost
You can bet that if for some reason the demand for those phones, or perhaps other things we may consider just waste today, rose high enough, there would be enough incentive to recover them.
Look up "low background steel" for one notable example. CFC refrigerants are another --- what used to be cheap and freely available gases were used in large quantities and simply released to the environment, then started causing environmental problems, so production was eventually banned and the price shot up enough that recovering and recycling became profitable.
"It's bad to release it into the environment" doesn't motivate as much as "it's very valuable so don't release it into the environment even if you don't care about pollution."
It's likely cheaper, easier, and safer to simply keep picking them up off the beach as they wash ashore.
If you just want to prevent Garfield pollution, it would seem like the best option would be to use explosives to close the cave and pretend it never happened.
It is buried, not easy to retrieve... but you could just pour fast setting concrete on all the openings.
Climbing down the slippery rocks to the cave, the team spotted remnants of a destroyed shipping container - and soon, between the rocks, Garfield phones - in a more complete condition than any found before them.