1. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    09 May '08 07:30
    "A "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.

    The vast expanse of debris - in effect the world's largest rubbish dump - is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting "soup" stretches from about 500 nautical miles (900km) off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan.

    Charles Moore, an American oceanographer who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or "trash vortex", believes that about 100 million tons of flotsam are circulating in the region."

    http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=143&art_id=vn20080210085415175C340800

    Any bright ideas for cleaning this sucker up?
  2. Joined
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    09 May '08 08:24
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "A "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.

    The vast expanse of debris - in effect the world's largest rubbish dump - is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting "soup" stretches from about 500 ...[text shortened]... =143&art_id=vn20080210085415175C340800

    Any bright ideas for cleaning this sucker up?
    Why clean up? Is good yes? You want in backyard maybe?
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 May '08 08:582 edits
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "A "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.

    The vast expanse of debris - in effect the world's largest rubbish dump - is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting "soup" stretches from about 500 =143&art_id=vn20080210085415175C340800

    Any bright ideas for cleaning this sucker up?
    If you had a 'vacuum cleaner ship' with 100,000 tons of capacity, it would take 1000 trips with it to clean all that stuff up. Or 1000 such ships, they could do it in one swell foop. It seems to me a better way would be a fleet of such ships but with one addition: That plastic can be reprocessed on the open sea to maybe provide the fuel needed to run such a ship. 100 megatons of plastic has GOT to have one hell of a lot of energy potential. But if you look at the area, say a strip 10,000 Km long and 4000 km wide, that is 40,000,000 square Km.
    So 100 million tons would put it at 2.5 tons per square Km. Those numbers are probably way off but just for illustration, it should be ok to use. 2.5 tons, 5000 pounds, or about 2000 Kg per square Km.
    2 million grams per square Km or 2 million grams per 1 million square meters or 2 grams per square meter. Pretty slim pickins if you have a ship gathering that stuff. Say you have a gathering tube ten meters wide and you go at 50 Km/hr or 50,000 meters per hour, times ten meters means you collect 500,000 square meters per hour or 1,000,000 grams per hour per ship. 1,000 Kg per hour. 100 million tons, 1E8 tons=2E11 pounds, or about 1E11 Kg. so it would take one ship at that rate 100,000,000 hours to get it done. 100E6 hours/~8000 hours per year, would take about 12,000 years to do the job. So maybe more than one ship would be needed. like 6,000 of such ships taking two years. It could be done but who would pay for it? I bet each ship would cost close to a billion dollars. 6 trillion bucks to do the job. Hmm. Who would ante up that much? Even if each ship costs 'only' 100 mil per, thats 600 billion dollars. My guess is nothing will be done.
  4. Cape Town
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    09 May '08 09:59
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Any bright ideas for cleaning this sucker up?
    Obviously we should deal with the source before trying to do the clean up. There is no point cleaning it up if it is growing faster than we can clean.

    But I doubt the accuracy of the story. The figures appear to be based on one mans observations of trash floating by on one voyage he made.

    The figure quoted as being from Unep of 46 000 pieces / square mile implies that it is an average for the worlds oceans. That means that if a vortex in the pacific is really there then it is well above average so we are talking million of pieces / square mile in that region - probably several in every square foot.
  5. Standard memberPalynka
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    09 May '08 10:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    But I doubt the accuracy of the story. The figures appear to be based on one mans observations of trash floating by on one voyage he made.
    Me too. What struck me is that I couldn't find any pictures. If it's so vast, surely a picture with plastic flotsam until the horizon would be found somewhere.
  6. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    09 May '08 10:29
    Originally posted by twhitehead

    But I doubt the accuracy of the story. The figures appear to be based on one mans observations of trash floating by on one voyage he made.
    He made the voyage in 1997 and the 'trash vortex' has been studied since then. Your dismissal is a little glib.

    "For several years ocean researcher Charles Moore has been investigating a concentration of floating plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre. He has reported concentrations of plastics on the order of 3,340,000 pieces/km² with a mean mass of 5.1kg/km² collected using a manta trawl with a rectangular opening of 0.9m x 0.15m at the surface. Trawls at depths of 10m found less than half, consisting primarily of monofilament line fouled with diatoms and other plankton."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch

    Albatross eat cigarette lighters:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7314240.stm
  7. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    09 May '08 10:362 edits
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Me too. What struck me is that I couldn't find any pictures. If it's so vast, surely a picture with plastic flotsam until the horizon would be found somewhere.
    It's not on the surface. Also the stuff breaks down into 'plastic plankton'.

    Here's a video: YouTube&feature=related

    One on the Pacific Gyre: YouTube&feature=related
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 May '08 10:38
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    He made the voyage in 1997 and the 'trash vortex' has been studied since then. Your dismissal is a little glib.

    "For several years ocean researcher Charles Moore has been investigating a concentration of floating plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre. He has reported concentrations of plastics on the order of 3,340,000 pieces/km² with a mean mass ...[text shortened]... _Patch

    Albatross eat cigarette lighters:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7314240.stm
    Something is wrong with the figures because I showed an area about twice the area of the US with 100E6 tons in it would have TONS per square Km not a few Kg. If his #'s are right then the total tonnage would be something like 500,000 tons or so, a lot but nothing like 100 MILLION tons.
  9. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    09 May '08 10:41
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Something is wrong with the figures because I showed an area about twice the area of the US with 100E6 tons in it would have TONS per square Km not a few Kg. If his #'s are right then the total tonnage would be something like 500,000 tons or so, a lot but nothing like 100 MILLION tons.
    The ocean goes all the way to the bottom ...
  10. Standard memberPalynka
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    09 May '08 10:47
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    It's not on the surface. Also the stuff breaks down into 'plastic plankton'.

    Here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXVw19bP0tw&feature=related

    One on the Pacific Gyre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnUjTHB1lvM&feature=related
    Interesting. Thanks.
  11. Cape Town
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    09 May '08 12:031 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    He made the voyage in 1997 and the 'trash vortex' has been studied since then. Your dismissal is a little glib.
    The article you first posted did not say so or give any references. In fact it implied that it was yet to happen. It says "Karl is co-ordinating an expedition with Algalita in search of the garbage patch later this year" and the story is from Feb 10 2008.

    He has reported concentrations of plastics on the order of 3,340,000 pieces/km² with a mean mass of 5.1kg/km²
    Thats 3.34 pieces per square metre.
    The really odd bit is that each piece weighs in at a mean mass of 0.0015grams. They must measure in the millimeters yet he could see them from the bow of his ship!

    The article about Midway gave me the idea that instead of trawler ships we really only need one long net across the current and the currents, wind and waves will bring all the plastic to us!
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 May '08 14:07
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    The ocean goes all the way to the bottom ...
    He said some meters down, 10? that the numbers were cut in half and the stuff at that depth was mostly fishing line. It still doesn't add up.
  13. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    10 May '08 15:06
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "A "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.

    The vast expanse of debris - in effect the world's largest rubbish dump - is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting "soup" stretches from about 500 ...[text shortened]... =143&art_id=vn20080210085415175C340800

    Any bright ideas for cleaning this sucker up?
    The Wonders of the Post-Modern World:

    1. The great Pacific trash-continent
    2. Tropical Polar Bears
    3.
  14. Standard memberthyme
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    19 May '08 13:10
    Wow. Imagine the money that could make if sold to scrap plastic processing companies.
    It must be a hoax. Someone would have cleaned out that gold mine a long time ago.
  15. Subscribersonhouse
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    19 May '08 22:32
    Originally posted by thyme
    Wow. Imagine the money that could make if sold to scrap plastic processing companies.
    It must be a hoax. Someone would have cleaned out that gold mine a long time ago.
    It's not a hoax. The problem is (for recycling purposes) the paucity of the stuff per square Km. You have to have a massively expensive ship with big scoops to pick up the stuff, which at the end of the day, would be far less than simply scrapping it off the ground at the city dump.
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