a plastic problem

 

A Plastic Problem

30 bags in whale gut

A DYING whale found off the coast of Norway had 30 plastic bags in its stomach, including some from British companies, according to researchers. The Cuvier’s beaked whale had to be put down by wardens at the weekend after it was found stranded on a beach off the island of Sotra, near Bergen. Among the plastic rubbish in its stomach was a multipack which originally contained six packets of Walker’s cheese and onion crisps from the UK. It is thought the plastic bags blocked the whale’s intestines, causing it considerable pain. 

 

 

Edible, biodegradable bags help replace plastic waste

Producing ‘plastic’ bags made from edible, organic food products that can biodegrade in less than a day. Using a combination of 12 ingredients that include bananas, flower oil, tapioca and corn, these bags are organic, edible and naturally biodegradable. Left alone, the bags decompose in about three months. Using water, they can be disposed of in a day or even seconds if using boiling water. 

 

 

Plastic Tricks Birds

SEABIRDS are eating plastic because it smells like their food, scientists at the University of California have discovered. And this is now threatening their survival.

We dump eight million tonnes of plastic waste into our seas and oceans every year. It accumulates a layer of algae, which produce a chemical, dimethyl sulphide (DMS). This smells just like krill, eaten by seabirds. Once a bird has swallowed plastic, it is almost impossible to eject it. 

As many as nine out of ten of all the world’s seabirds have plastic in their gut and numbers have fallen by two thirds in 60 years.

 

 

Marine animals, including albatross, mistake plastic in the ocean for food

The plastic can perforate a bird's stomach or make the birds feel full when they're starving. 

 

 

 

 

Swap It to Stop It

Your actions can stop plastic from entering the ocean.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Swap plastic bags for reusable bags

 

 

   

Non-Recyclable Lids

 

There are 1 billion disposable coffee cups thrown away by Australians each year, the lids are made of plastic most municipalities don't recycle, and the paper cups are  lined with a plastic coating making them non-recyclable and unable to break down in our landfill systems. 

It is way too hard to kick the caffeine habit, so why not start a new habit of taking in a reusable coffee cup (if you ask nicely they will even wash it for you!).

   

 

   

In the Bin! not the Burrow!

Between 700 000 and 1 million seabirds are killed from rubbish entanglement or ingestion each year. 

 

Please help the penguins and their environment - put your rubbish in the bin or recycle.

   

 

 

   

Micro-Plastics

 

Micro-plastics or 'nurdles' are the pre-production plastic resin pellets that are sent all over the world to be turned into consumer plastics, such as soft drink bottles.

Through shipping accidents and industry mismangement, huge amounts of these pellets find their way into the world's oceans and onto our beaches.

Once in the water, pollutants can cling to these micro-plastics at a concentration up to 1 million times the toxicity of surrounding waters.  This creates plastics and pollutants into perfect bite sized for sea creatures.

   

 

Plastic Accumulation

Every year there are an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste entering the global oceans, or to put it into perspective, equivalent to 15 grocery bags of rubbish for every metre of coastline on the planet.
 
 

This is set to double by 2025.

Once in the ocean, floating plastic can be carried around the globe on ocean currents, becoming concentrated in areas where currents meet.  There are five major spots where this occurs on the planet.  The largest is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Ocean, which is a floating soup of plastic throught to be two times the size of Texas.

 

 

Plastic Longevity - Plastic Bags

With an esitmated 5.25 trillion particles of plastic (not  including other human product wastes) floating in our oceans it is a frightening thought to consider how long the plastic will take to completely break down.
 
 

Newspaper: 6 weeks

Cigarette butt: 1-5 years

Plastic grocery bag: 20 years

Aluminium can: 200 years

Plastic bottle: 450 years

Disposable nappy: 450 years

Fishing line: 600 years

 

 

Plastic Production

 
 

Commercial plastic production began just 50 years ago and quickly became a centre-point in our lives.  It encases the food we buy; it's in our kitchens, cars, phones, clothes, computers and most things we come into contact with each day. 

Plastic's versatility and cheap production has allowed the level of convenience to increase while keeping the cost of living low. 

Plastic production is rapidly rising with a doubling in production every 11 years and has now surpassed 300 million metric tons per year.