Belgian ‘plastic soup’ pollution solution?

This video, in English with Vietnamese subtitles, says about itself:

These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September 2009 on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.

~Chris Jordan

October 2009

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ecover to turn sea plastic into bottles in pioneering recycling scheme

Green cleaning brand claims plastic trawled from the sea can be used to create fully sustainable and recyclable packaging

Sea plastic pollution: Plastic bottles and other rubbish washed up on a beach

Plastic bottles and other rubbish washed up by the tide on a beach, Isle of Man. Ecover will use plastic waste trawled from the sea to deliver what it claims will be the first ever fully sustainable and recyclable plastic. Photograph: Alamy

Ecover, the green cleaning brand, said on Thursday it will use plastic waste retrieved from the sea to create an entirely new type of sustainable and recyclable plastic bottle.

The Belgian company is working with plastic manufacturer Logoplaste to combine plastic trawled from the sea with a plastic made from sugar cane (‘Plant-astic’) and recycled plastic, in what it is calling a world-first for packaging. Products made from the packaging will go on sale next year.

But the company was unable to give details of how much plastic would be retrieved or what percentage of “sea plastic” would be used in the packaging.

Ecover chief executive, Philip Malmberg, said: “We won’t have a definitive figure on the amount we will retrieve we are just hoping to get as much as is possible and give fishermen an incentive to join the initiative and help clean the seas. We want to get the sea waste in as much of our packaging as possible – it will always depend on the amount and quality of the plastic they have managed to fish.”

Philip Malmberg, Ecover’s CEO, talks to Guardian Environment Network partnerRTCC about plastic soup, the recession and ditching fossil fuels

According to the Marine Conservation Society, plastic debris accounts for almost 60% of all litter found on UK beaches, while much of it ends up in the sea. The scale of the problem was highlighted in a recent studyby scientists who found a sperm whale that died off the coast of Spain last year had a stomach full of flowerpots, hosepipe and nearly 30 square metres of plastic greenhouse covers.

Ecover was set up in 1981 and the UK is now one of its biggest markets, generating some 40% of sales. The company said it would work with the industry-led Waste Free Oceans initiative and the UK recycling plant Closed Loop to recruit fishing communities working in the British waters off the North Sea to collect plastic.

Boats outfitted with special equipment will be able to collect between two and eight tonnes of waste per trawl for cleaning and recycling, while other fishermen will collect plastic debris mixed with by-catch and deposit it at special collection points. The sorted waste will then be sent to Closed Loop Recycling’s plant in Dagenham, east London, where it will be processed and turned into the plastic for the new bottles.

Trials have already begun on the exact mix of the three plastics that will allow the brand to deliver what it claims will be the first ever fully sustainable and recyclable plastic.

Malmberg added: “Sustainability is a never-ending journey. Solve one problem or tackle one issue and it simply leaves you free to solve the next. Our focus on continual innovation means that we are always pushing boundaries. As manufacturers we’ve got to take responsibility for sustainability very seriously – to take real action on climate change and the damage done by our over-reliance on fossil fuels, creating ‘green’ products that deliver more than a nod to sustainability.”

Ecover’s move has the backing of the Environment Agency, although it is not providing any funding or subsidy to help retrieve the plastic debris. The company said it would incur the costs of the exercise and pledged not to pass it on to consumers via any price increases.

This video is called Plastic Shores: ‘Micro-plastics’ Animation.

THIS 21-YEAR-OLD WANTS TO CLEAN UP THE OCEANS “Boyan Slat, a 21-year-old who gained worldwide recognition two years ago for his ambitious plan to rid the oceans of plastics, is one step closer to making his idea a reality. His foundation just raised the 1.5 million euros they needed to test their technology in real-life conditions, which will take place in the North Sea this summer. [HuffPost]

270,000 TONS OF PLASTIC LITTERS THE OCEAN “A new study estimates nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the world’s oceans. That’s enough to fill more than 38,500 garbage trucks. The plastic is broken up into more than 5 trillion pieces, said the study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.” [AP]

11 thoughts on “Belgian ‘plastic soup’ pollution solution?

  1. Pingback: Young minke whale killed by plastic | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  3. 24-04-2013 | Razende Bol opgeruimd door kajakkers

    De Razende Bol is een waddeneiland dat tussen Texel en de kop van Noord-Holland in de Noordzee ligt. Ooit was het een gevaarlijke zandbank en stond het onder zeevaarders bekend als Noorderhaaks. Tegenwoordig is de Razende Bol een belangrijke rustplaats voor zeehonden en zeevogels. Onder invloed van stroming spoelt er veel rommel aan dat direct gevaar kan opleveren voor de natuurlijke bewoners. Ze eten plastic afval op of ze raken erin verstrikt.

    Tegenwoordig worden door scholieren en vrijwilligers veel strandopruimacties verricht die gericht zijn op het strand van de Waddeneilanden en de vaste wal. Het jaarlijks terugkerende WaddenWerkWeekend in september, waarbij het strand en wad van Terschelling afvalvrij wordt gemaakt, is een van de meest populaire evenementen van de Waddenvereniging.

    Niet alle locaties zijn eenvoudig te bereiken voor dergelijke opruimacties; onbewoonde eilanden en zandplaten moeten op andere manieren aangepakt worden. Een grote groep zeekajakkers ging afgelopen zaterdag op weg om de Razende Bol eens grondig op te schonen. Die actie leverde twaalf volle big-bags met afval op met een totaalgewicht van meer dan duizend kilo. Deze actie werd ondersteund door KIMO Nederland en België, een vereniging van kustgemeenten met gemeenschappelijke belangen op en aan de Noordzee.

    De resultaten van de actie tonen aan dat opruimacties als deze bijzonder nuttig en noodzakelijk zijn. Aangezien er nog een aantal zandplaten voor de Nederlandse kust liggen heeft KIMO Nederland en België toegezegd om ook opruimacties te ondersteunen op de Richel (onder Vlieland), de Koffieboonplaat (tussen Terschelling en Ameland), de Engelsmanplaat en het Rif (tussen Ameland en Schiermonnikoog) en het Simonszand, Rottumerplaat en Rottumeroog (ten oosten van Schiermonnikoog).


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