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Filmmaker sounds alarm over ocean of plastic

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posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 06:33 PM
Film director Craig Leeson of Ocean Vista Films is working on an alarming documentary about the impacts that plastics are having on our oceans. This sounds like a fantastic film, and I can't wait to see the finished result. Waste plastics are a problem in our society that need to be look at closely, and I hope this film will have an impact when we see in detail what we are doing to the oceans.

On Midway atoll in the North Pacific, dozens of young albatross lie dead on the sand, their stomachs filled with cigarette lighters, toy soldiers and other small plastic objects their parents have mistaken for food.

That sad and surreal sight, says Hong Kong-based Australian film director Craig Leeson, is one of the many symptoms of a plague afflicting the world’s oceans, food chains and human communities: the onslaught of discarded plastic.

“Every piece of plastic ever made since the fifties exists in some shape or form on the planet,” Leeson told AFP. “We throw plastic into a bin, it’s taken away from us and we never see it again — but it still comes back at us.”

Over the past year, Leeson has been following the menace of plastic from Sardinia to Canada to the Indian Ocean for a film that aims to combine the art of nature documentary with a campaigning quest.

Provisionally called “Away”, the film — backed by David Attenborough and the UK-based Plastic Oceans Foundation — brings together new research on the spread of plastic with missions by “explorers” such as Ben Fogle to show the diverse effects of plastic trash.

Its message is that while you may throw out your plastic goods, they are never really thrown “away”.

In fact, Leeson said, the mass of plastic the size of Texas often said to exist in the North Pacific is a myth. Instead, particles of plastic lurk there invisibly, in seemingly clear water.

“If you trawl for it with these special nets that they’ve developed, you come back with this glutinous mass — it’s microplastics that are in the water along with the plankton,” he said.

It's a little frightening to think about how much plastic might end up in the ocean food chain, and that you could strain it from the oceans. I wonder how much plastic is eaten by the seafood that we eat?

“When you see a toy soldier or a lighter that’s manufactured in China that ends up in the stomach of an albatross at Midway Point in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that just shows you how much effect you’re having on the environment,” he said.

Leeson will not divulge all the findings from new research carried out for the film, but it is clear the message will be an alarming one.

The film will question the “disposable lifestyle” behind discarded plastic, but not advocate banning the substance altogether.

I like that the film will not encourage the banning of plastics. Plastics are an important and vital part of our world, and avoiding using them would be problematic. I look forward to watching this film, and encourage everyone to read the article. It's too long to post in full here, but contains more detail on what is being filmed.

posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 07:11 PM
When I went to the Bahamas in 2009, I traveled to a small island by boat. It was literally a deserted paradise. No one else there, I had the island all to myself to explore, mingle with wildlife I have never seen before, camp, go into underground caves, go diving in the blue holes, and more. I felt like Gilligan, and had the most fun I've ever had in my life.

It was a complete paradise. Until I got to the beach. Plastic everywhere. Disgusting. I visited 7 other islands in the Bahamas too. They are all the same way. And there's nothing now that can be done. There is simply too much plastic.

The problem with plastic, is that it's virtually indestructible. Plant a plastic toy in the ground, and 2 millions years in the future, it will still be there (or somewhere nearby). At least other waste products like paper and metals will eventually break down. Plastic is evil. And it's not safe. The chemicals in it cause all sorts of genetic conditions, especially when you have little babies chewing on plastic toys. Worst human invention ever.

edit on 2-2-2012 by WP4YT because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 07:33 PM
reply to post by isyeye

I'm glad you posted this as it has led to the death of God knows how many ocean animals who may ingest this, as when going after a swarm of fish, if there is plastic and other human crap in the area of a said "fish swarm", hence this would be nasty, and a very painful death. We know ocean going birds who land to rest on the ocean and who knows how many ocean mammal's or fish can be affected by this.

Certainly many animals get caught up in the floating plastic and other materials that sink, and this and other material will often sink in stages. Going from the surface to a lower level, and can be affected by thermal layers (the difference and barrier between different ocean-tempeture layers) and of course currents and under-tow. Anyway this is revolting and cruel, and we need to stop treating this planet and particular the oceans as a toilet, or toxic dump.

posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 07:34 PM
Screw plastic, its all about the rubbers.


Sorry for the One Liner. But I had to. I will look forward to watching this film if it helps.

Edit- BTW- does rubber decompose? And a list of all other "TRASH"- For your thread =)
edit on 2-2-2012 by Common Good because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-2-2012 by Common Good because: One Edit-To Add Link

posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:02 PM
reply to post by WP4YT

Plastic soldier will still be intact in 2 millions years? I highly doubt that. Some say 1000 years , some say 10000, etc. The problem is no one really knows how long it will last. Every single thing that we make comes from the earth in some way shape or form, and finds its way back. It may take a long time but I am sure plastic will eventually degrade as everything else does. That is not to say that a problem doesn't exist, we should just concentrate on cleaning up after ourselves first. The biggest problem is the littering and not the landfill.

posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:18 PM

Originally posted by halffinger4
reply to post by WP4YT

The biggest problem is the littering and not the landfill.

I will have to differ with that in many third world countries the local riverbed or dry wash is the local dump and when the rains come the trash goes straight to the sea.

Mexico has very few land fills of the type used in the US but a lot of uncontrolled dumps..

posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 10:01 PM
reply to post by ANNED

My basic point was the uncontrolled trash. Efforts should be made on behalf of these countries to establish and control any and all landfills. It may be a way of life to them, but to me dumping trash in the river because there is no better place for it is no excuse. Pollution is this worlds biggest problem and it is up to all of us to work it out. We will all pay for it in the end. I know, easier said than done.

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 11:01 AM
I've just watched an film about the problems of plastic. It's called "Plastic Planet" and is produced in german language. It should be somewhere on Youtube with english subs.

It is really interesting because it shows (besides other things), that no producer of plastic products knows, what's exactly in it.
All the supplier of raw plastic pellets keep their recipe secret. Also to their big customers.

official page (german)
plastic planet @ imdb

Edit: found it in english on Vimeo (not only subs)
edit on 3.2.2012 by grobi77 because: (no reason given)

edit on 3.2.2012 by grobi77 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by isyeye

This guy has part of the answer...

"Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled -- compared to almost 90% of metals -- because of the massively complicated problem of finding and sorting the different kinds. Frustrated by this waste, Mike Biddle has developed a cheap and incredibly energy efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic."

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 11:53 AM
Screw chemical plastics
Go with bio plastics, made from whatever (hemp is a good one)
They are biodegradable.
And do not hurt the environment just to make it.

Why the hell not?
Biodegradable plastic? I'de be okay with that, its much better then the destruction of eeverything

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