oceans plastic



Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20-2011

Today's date  November 3, 2012

page 360


This past week, I was contacted by a long time dear friend who feels a passion for cleaning up the oceans, but particularly PLASTIC.

PLASTIC GARBAGE IN OUR OCEANS  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTZUVjF69eg&feature=related

I commend her for this, and though I have long given thought to this topic fleetingly here and there, I didn't feel the passion until she told me about her passion.  A personal contact really does make a difference.

It was called to mind about Tom Brown who also has a passion for cleaning up water - starting in your own neighborhood, because water does run downhill and eventually into the ocean.

I also remembered the debris that started showing up on Canada's beaches this past year that had come all the way from Japan and the Fukishima disaster and tsunami - earthquake in that country.

We all really need to give credence to this problem, and do our part to help clean up the oceans, no matter where we are and what we do for a living, and if you are retired like I am, you have even more time to think about this issue and do your part to help.

So, lets do some digging and see what is already being done, and then we can decide where we can help.

OKAY!  We are not the only ones thinking about this issue:

  1. Plastic-Eating Underwater Drone Could Swallow the Great Pacific ...

    Jul 24, 2012 – So by all means, clean up the oceans. That's the least we can do, but what really needs to be done is to come up with a way to ACTUALLY ...
  2. Removing Plastic in the Ocean | Speak Up For The Blue

    Mar 4, 2012 – I want / need to be a part of the clean up. The oceans are our life source. I want to help. Please advise me toward a ship that I can board to get ...

FANS FOR VETS | Clean Up The Oceans of All OF The Plastic ...

Sep 9, 2012 – FANS FOR VETS is dedicated to raising consciousness in America for our disabled American Veterans. F4V is not a corporation or an ...


  1. Cleaning up the oceans with the Clean Oceans Project and Blest ...

    Aug 20, 2011 – plastics FRESH DIRT > Local nonprofit uses a new technology that can help clean up the oceans. Remember that scene in Back to the Future ...
  2. EnviroLink Forum • View topic - Plastic oceans

    www.envirolink.org › ... › Discussion Area Environmental Issues
    It would be good to clean up the oceans, however, we don't need more CO2 and water vapor that most plastics would burn into. Other plastics ...
  3. Elephant Seals of Piedras Blancas: Plastic entanglement

    Oct 12, 2012 – Another example of why we must reduce plastic use and clean up the oceans. Jean-Michel Cousteau will be speaking on the subject in ...
  4. Electrolux aims to clean up the oceans (a little bit) | TG Daily

    Jun 29, 2010 – Electrolux aims to clean up the oceans (a little bit) ... "There are plastic islands, some several times the size of the state of Texas, floating in our ...
  5. NYC Surfrider and 5 Gyres say: anyone can clean up the planet ...

    Oct 21, 2012 – The amount of plastic waste on the planet has reached ...5 Gyres mission to get rid of non-reusable plastic and to clean up the oceans.

Fungi Discovered In The Amazon Will Eat Polyurethane, Plastic Solving The Landfill Pollution

To the multitude of arguments for protecting rainforest biodiversity, here’s a new addition: An Amazonian fungus could eat our most durable landfill waste. A group of students from Yale found the fungus during an expedition to Ecuador and learned it breaks down polyurethane

This plastic is one of those modern chemical compounds found in so many products, it’s pointless to count — from Spandex to garden hoses, for a start — and it is prized for both its flexibility and rigidity. The problem is that like many other polymers, it does not break down readily. This means it persists in landfills, as Fast Company points out. It burns pretty well, but that releases carbon monoxide and other gases into the atmosphere, so it’s a nonstarter in most situations. Something that can degrade it naturally would be a better solution.
The fungus called Pestalotiopsis microspora can subsist on a diet of polyurethane alone, and do so in an anaerobic environment, according to the researchers who found it. The Yale team isolated the enzyme that enables this fungus to do its work and noted it could be used for bioremediation.
It’s odd to think of a microorganism eating up a durable synthetic material, but this would not be a first, by a long shot; bacteria and fungi can break down lots of things. A bacterial species called Halomonas titanicae is eating the RMS Titanic, for instance. We just need to know where to find these hungry species — and the rainforest is a good place to look.

Bug munches plastic trash, possibly cleaning oceans — RT

Mar 29, 2011 – Nature may have found a way to dispose of the huge amounts of plastic garbage, which has been increasingly accumulating in the oceans.



The tragedy of the Tsunami that hit Japan last March (2011) is still causing havoc to the world. This time it’s causing concern to the West Coast of North America. It’s something that I never thought would happen…but it did.

Approximately 18 Million tonnes of trash consisting of houses, appliances, cars, TVs, and other trash was washed out to sea after the Tsunami hit the east coast of Japan. The trash spans approximately 3,200 kms long and 1,600 kms wide. The Tsunami Pacific garbage patch is expected to reach Hawai’i by 2013 and the West Coast of North America by 2014.

Man…this sucks. Imagine the beautiful views that will be ruined in Hawaii and North America due to the presence of millions of tons of trash. Also imagine how much damage it will cause to marine life in the Pacific Ocean. Plastic and trash can get caught around the necks of marine life like sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals and suffocate them.

Plastic and trash is already responsible for the deaths of more than hundreds of thousands of ocean species…now the number will grow due to the increased amount of garbage creating another Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch.

Tsunami debris in Japan

Two photos show the same coast in northeastern Japan on March 12, 2011, before and after a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the area. About 18 million tonnes of debris from the disasters are projected to float onto the B.C. coast by 2014. (Associated Press/Kyodo News)

How to Solve the Problem

So how do you stop 18 million tons of trash from not only cluttering multiple coasts, but damaging habitats, killing ocean species, and hitting industries like tourism hard??? That seems to be the million dollar question. A question, which to this date, has not been answered. Trash, especially plastic is found all throughout the Oceans, in big pieces and microscopic pieces, and no one has tried to pick it all up. I mean who would…is that even possible?

It is possible according to Captain Jim “Homer” Holms, co-founder of the Clean Oceans Project. Last week, Speak Up for Blue posted an interview with Homer discussing the organization’s plans to pick up all the plastic which is polluting the Ocean (check out the full interview here). Homer told us that his organization was not only going to pick up plastic debris from the Ocean, but they would dispose of it by heating it up until it breaks down into fuel, it’s original form. Is there technology to do that? YES there is. It’s not fully available yet to the public, but it is on its way and Homer is helping to get the technology out there as fast as possible, which is great because we are really going to need it in a year or two.

Yesterday someone emailed me asking what the plan was to deal with all of this trash coming to our coasts. I responded by telling him that I didn’t quite know; however, the fact that scientists are able to track the massive garbage patch in the open sea and encourage volunteers to take pictures of the patch as they sail by is a feat in itself. This means we will be able to know what is in the trash patch before it even reaches shore, which also means we can do a better job at cleaning it up by knowing what is in it.

My suggestion would be to get the Clean Ocean’s Project on their way as soon as possible to begin cleaning up this patch before it reaches any shore, but this requires funding…and lots of it. Soooo…If you want to see this garbage patch cleaned up, I suggest you click over to the Clean Ocean’s Project and donate to help fund them. Don’t have the cash? Then donate your time. The staff need help with logistics and gathering information about the technologies to clean up our Oceans! This is the chance for you to make a difference.

First thing’s first…click over and WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH THE CLEAN OCEANS PROJECT to get a better understanding of the complex problem that is plastic pollution.

Check Out These Similar Posts

About the Author: Andrew Lewin

Andrew Lewin is founder of Speak Up for Blue and an active Ocean Scientist. He started Speak Up for Blue because he wanted to make sure people got the best news, solutions, and conservations stories that were out there as opposed to the mainstream Ocean News out there today. Andrew wants to help you become an Ocean Leader and change the way the world treats our Oceans
  1. Cleaning the Oceans from Plastic - Mission Impossible? | Kanelstrand

    Nov 1, 2011 – And all the floating colorful plastic bits of civilization are at the core of a very modern and ironic question - is cleaning the oceans from plastic ...
  2. A passion to clean up the Pacific Ocean's great 'garbage patch ...

    May 10, 2010 – Avid sailor and educator Mary Crowley is recruiting help to clean up the North Pacific ... The Pacific isn't the only ocean collecting plastic trash ...
  3. How Much Plastic is in the Ocean? : Discovery News

    news.discovery.com ›
    Jul 8, 2010 – How much plastic is really in the ocean, and can we clean it up? In a new post on 5gyres.org, Wilson takes what appears to be the first-ever ...
  4. Plastic-Eating Underwater Drone Could Swallow the Great Pacific ...

    Jul 24, 2012 – Along with cleaning the oceans, the trash drone could yield profits for companies seeking to reduce petroleum use and recycle plastics,  ...