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A thousand words

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, October 26th, 2009 - 19 comments
Categories: Environment - Tags:

On Midway Atoll thousands of albatross chicks die from ingesting plastic mistaken by their parents for food. More photos here.

19 comments on “A thousand words ”

  1. mike 1

    Should small plastic things be banned??

    • felix 1.1

      I’m pretty sure mike isn’t allowed to play with small plastic things already.

    • IrishBill 1.2

      I really don’t know what the answer is, it’s not just small plastic things though as big plastic things break down into smaller plastic things and eventually microscopic plastic things that causes all sorts of problems for marine life and the rest of the food chain. Some plastics break down into chemicals that mimic hormones and can cause birth defects in humans.

      Perhaps a policy shift to more biodegradable plant-based plastics coupled with policies designed to reduce the use of plastic such as building the external environmental costs into the over-the counter price and more strongly policed recycling policy.

      One thing that should certainly be banned is the use of microscopic plastic beads in beauty products: http://www.slate.com/id/2193693/

    • roger nome 1.3

      Nah – i’m pretty sure that if narcissistic, retarded right-whingers were banned the problem would go away. They’re the type to throw pieces of plastic into rivers and oceans after all. No need to ban plastic.

      • IrishBill 1.3.1

        You’ve obviously never seen Wellington’s streets and shores on days when recycling collection coincides with one of the city’s infamous winds.

        I’m pretty sure that lefties buy a lot of things packaged in plastic too. This is not a left/right thing.

        • roger nome

          aww – go on, you can afford a laugh Irish – it’s labour day after all …

          • mike

            Perhaps it just wasn’t funny nome. A bit like the current green party really – a little too confused and bitter to get the message across

  2. rocky 2

    That is one of the most disgusting pictures I’ve ever seen!

  3. Bevanjs 3

    Not as graphic but walking around the bottom of Evan’s Bay by the airport in Wellington shows the “shingle” is about “50%” plastic, mainly small stuff particularly bottle caps. It’s quite sobering.

  4. George D 4

    Proper large scale recycling programs, public education, waste and producer levies can all make a very large scale impact.

    These kinds of provisions were in the Greens (Nandor’s) Waste Minimisation Act. Most of them got watered down by Labour, but not ridiculously so. It’s okay, as a set of tools. Now, the current Government has decided that they will implement it in the barest form possible, so that it does a fraction of what it could.

    Typical New Zealand thinking. We’re about 20 years behind Germany, for example. We don’t lead the world in anything environmental anymore, we’re slow followers.

  5. Swimmer 5

    That’s disgusting. When are people going to stop littering and start being decent?

  6. Zepher 6

    This picture makes me sick to my stomach. =(

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    The amount of rubbish in the oceans ATM is bordering on the practically impossible to clean up.

    In answer to your question mike – yes, I do think we should ban the use of plastics.

  8. Max 8

    If we were to ban all plastics….think about what your next visit to the hospital might be like. Are plastics the problem or are people the problem? If plastic was properly disposed of then we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.
    What some of you referred to as biodegradable plastic is actually compostable plastic. PLA plastic is plastic made from plant starches…like corn. It may sound like a good idea but here are a few things to think about regarding PLA:
    It doesn’t biodegrade…it composts and only in a commercial composting facility. There aren’t many commercial composting facilities so most PLA will end up in a landfill.
    PLA is made from genetically modified corn which isn’t fit for human consumption. The land should be used to raise food…the results; higher food prices, increased pesticide usage, and less food for countries that rely on importing our grains, and like ethanol it is government subsidized…our taxes at work.
    There are no easy answers but if manufacturers of products took more responsibility for the products/packaging they make (Producer Product Responsibility) they (Manufacturers not governments) would develop programs for the manufacture, used, reuse, recycling and reclaiming of the resources they use to make products.
    The way I see it isn’t the plastic that are causing the problems, its people and how they use and dispose of the things they use.
    Having said all that I think that biodegradable…not compostable plastics are better for our environment.

  9. A friend offered this thought.

    Mother nature is so good that all of the crap thrown into the waterways ends up in the ocean and in the ocean it ends up in the big plastic conveyor belt being moved by current into one spot. How about designing a recycler plant and placing it where mother nature has so kindly dropped all of the floating bits of plastic.

    Yes tough i know, but perhaps easier than trying to pick them all up or trying to stop unthinking people from polluting.

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