Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cleaning up ocean trash

Everyday we read and see how the oceans are being overrun by trash and plastics. Animals are dying, people are surfing through garbage, and our coastlines are becoming waste dumps. Everybody gripes about plastics in the ocean, but does anybody do anything?

If Boyan Slat, a 22-year old college drop out, gets his way we will soon see a fleet of floating ocean trash collectors. "'We let the plastic come to us,' he says. The group hopes to eventually finance the operation by recycling the plastic and selling it as a branded product or raw material." Once the plastic arrives at the drifting garbage tank, it is funneled towards a central tank and then picked up monthly by ships.

But his critics believe that it is a waste of effort and too much money for something that in "10 to 20 years" will disappear.
They also list "technical limitations and concerns such as harm to marine life. 'It’s not the best solution,' says Marcus Eriksen of the ocean nonprofit The 5 Gyres Institute, based in Los Angeles, California. 'In fact, it’s a distraction from the work going on upstream.' Most environmental groups working on ocean pollution focus on reducing the amount of plastic that enters the ocean, and, ultimately, what Eriksen calls 'the heavy lift of ending the one-time, throwaway culture.'
But what about all that plastic floating around out there? I mean there's supposed to be a continent of plastic out there somewhere. It seems like a long shot to think that we are just going to stop using plastics, considering they are in everything we use. How do we reduce the plastic going into the ocean when the world seems like it can't agree on anything. Can't we collect and dispose of the trash at the same time that we look at reducing our use of plastic? What do you think?

22 comments:

  1. Anavenessa Aguirre
    ENGL 1002

    This is upsetting to know that within our community not everyone cares about where we live. Especially about our oceans that are meant to be swim in, but cannot because of the trash they are starting to leave behind. Where I live we have a close by beach named Alameda Shoreline. No one likes to go there, because it is the dirties beach. However, our community did that. How can someone not like to go to certain beach, because of their own community actions. There should be stricter rules or have community services to clean up at the beach. I am sure a lot of people wouldn't mind that, because while cleaning up they would also enjoy the beach and weather.

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  2. Lauren Satariano
    ENGL 1001-16

    I believe that the idea of the floating trash collectors is a very good idea. It would take the trash out of our oceans, and not use a lot of energy. I don't see why his critics think it is a bad idea. Without this trash collector, the oceans are getting more and more polluted with trash. And the wildlife is suffering as well. There should be much more effort going towards the cleaning of our oceans. I think that although people would still be putting in as much trash as was taken out, it would decrease the problem, or at least stop it from growing.

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  3. It is sad to know to all this is causing harm to marine life. People don't realize how harmful all the plastic and trash in the ocean can be. It seems that people don't care about the harm that they are causing. It would be great if we all could all take action and collect and dispose all plastic and trash. By collecting all plastic the ocean will maintain clean and cause no harm to marine life.

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  4. ENGL 1001
    It is extremely important that we spread the word of how much damage we are doing as a society. Since we are more powerful life forms, we have a responsibility to protect the environment. The amount of plastics in our oceans is notorious and should not be there. We should make every effort to get rid of the plastic problem because we have already done enough harm to the wild life.

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  5. It is incredible to think about the amount of garbage we dump into the ocean and how much damage to marine life and their ecosystems we cause by doing so, yet we continue to do so at such an alarming rate. Majority of the garbage put into our ocean is plastic and even though we know the damage this causes, how can we stop when plastic is so widely used in society? Something has to be done to reduce the amount of plastic used which will in return lessen the effects we have on our oceans and marine life. It is our mess, we need to clean it up.

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  6. Alyssa Kuberski
    ENGL 1001-10
    Plastic is clearly the cause of much trash and pollution throughout the world, and something needs to be done about it. While it is not feasible right now to completely get rid of plastic, the government should make regulations so plastic is disposed of in a better way than being thrown into the ocean. There needs to be a safe way to get rid of this waste until we are able to make a switch from plastic products to something recyclable and easier to manage. Floating trash collectors may seem as if they're barely doing anything right now in comparison to how much there is to do, but if we slowly stop polluting the ocean this job will get much easier. The waste will slowly decrease as the years go on and with the help of these collectors, we will slowly get the continent of plastic out of the ocean.

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  7. Michelle Silva
    ENGL 1011-10
    It is disgusting to think that when someone like Slat has developed an idea to help collect the plastic in the ocean, it gets shot down. Plastic in the ocean is a huge problem and needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. Even though the plastic waste is expected to disappear within 10-20 years, the floating collector can make the process faster. I think the idea is brilliant. The plastic has a terrible effect on the marine life and we need more individuals like Slat to step up and try to resolve the plastic waste in the ocean.

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  8. Youser Alalusi
    ENGL 126-0747
    Plastic has been a problem that causes harm and it is important that we find a good solution to have less plastic in the ocean. Waste in the ocean negatively affects the marine life. Therefore, sinnce it is there because of us, it needs to be cleaned up.

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  9. It is sad to see the ocean is getting polluted by human's selfish. They just leave their plastic trash on the beach or throw it on the sea. There is nothing to decompose those plastic, it will only stay on the sea. It makes fishes or other organisms mistaking those trashes are food and eat it. It causes them died because they ate a lot of plastic trashes and it can not be decomposed. In my opinion, we should list a board to warn people do not leave trashes or throw it on the sea. Also, make a video to explain how this damage the marine ecosystem which affect human's life as well. Wai Lam Mak

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  10. It is sad to see the ocean is getting polluted by human's selfish. They just leave their plastic trash on the beach or throw it on the sea. There is nothing to decompose those plastic, it will only stay on the sea. It makes fishes or other organisms mistaking those trashes are food and eat it. It causes them died because they ate a lot of plastic trashes and it can not be decomposed. In my opinion, we should list a board to warn people do not leave trashes or throw it on the sea. Also, make a video to explain how this damage the marine ecosystem which affect human's life as well.

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  11. The obvious problem that the ocean is filled with plastic and trash has been a very big issue since it harms wildlife as well as it does humans. I think this project is a great idea and is not a waste of money at all because it can benefit with helping clean the ocean day by day by simply collecting trash. We need to find more projects like this that will help fight pollution as it is formed rather than wait for people to make the drastic change that they want by eliminating plastic use completely. Solutions made now is what helps this planet survive meanwhile its being polluted. If it wasn't for these ideas we would be drowning in trash as we speak. I totally agree with Slat's idea that we should find quick help now as we wait for big change to happen.

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  12. The problem has been a very big issue, like the Great Barrier reef is pretty much destroyed since of the litter going around in the ocean. People should have consequences if they litter on the beach because they are making oceans full of trash. We can find projects to help clean up the trash, however if people still litter the oceans will always be dirty. Maybe people are ignorant that they are destroying the earth. We should clean the ocean because earth is surrounded by water. By cleaning one day at a time it will make a difference overtime because the ocean is beautiful and should be preserved. It also affects the fishes in the ocean like the oil spill that happened affected sea otters and sea birds. Its really horrifying what happen to the various animals in the ocean.

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  13. The problem of waste in the ocean has been a big issue, there are landfills of plastic floating in the ocean that are miles long. Although his attempts are taken as a waste of time, he is at least making an effort to make the ocean safer for the animals. If they think his efforts are worthless, why don't they help him find different ways to to solve this problems. This problem may not seem to be directly affecting us, but it does affect the sea animals. Soon many of the marine life will be extinct and we will no longer have sea creature that help the ecosystem. This problem that may be affecting us directly at the moment, but we will experience later on the effects on the plastic affecting the sea creatures.

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  14. The problem is with trash regulation is how people cause it. There are people out there who have different beliefs when it comes towards trash, like when people go to eat out at a fast food restaurant such as leaving their trash behind when they can simply get up and throw it out on their way leaving. they don't think about others around them such as the workers who have to clean up behind them when they could have done it themselves. As for the ocean, where marine life is, people who don't live around the ocean or aren't marine animals don't really care about what's going in. When people realize that another person's problem isn't effecting them then it's none of their business. Plastic is the replacement of harsh materials such as glass, now imagine if it were glass instead of plastic being in the ocean which would be even worse. But plastic is also a hazard because it disrupting the ecosystem in the ocean and it takes a long time to decompose. Most likely we will learn the hard way when the water from the ocean is toxic and we all die because we don't have any food or fish to eat.

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  15. The floating trash collectors idea seems to be the best option so far. Instead of shooting it down people should think of ways of modifying it to make it a more feasible plan. The waste in the ocean is going to be staying there until we do something about it. Coral reefs will be getting worse and that is going to affect sea creatures with the oceans chemistry. There should also be a more effective consequence for people who litter in or around the ocean. A high fine might to the trick and also extra security to be on the lookout. The cost for any plan to try and fix these problems is nothing compared to the increasing damages the ocean will suffer.

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  16. The ongoing issue of pollution in our ocean's is something that doesn't look like its going to stop any time soon. The major problem being plastic something that takes a years to decompose makes it a even larger problem. Our environment will keep on getting worse because of peoples neglect towards the problem, people think that it doesn't affect them and can easily pollute without any worries. The ones suffering for humanities neglect are the beings and the overall environment for the moment. All of this is mostly because of the fact people don't know what is going on also having the majority ignoring the fact that pollution is becoming a serious issue. Also the fact that only small portion of people are attempting to take action, but can only do so much because of certain limitations.

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  17. English 1001-16
    The pollution in the ocean has been a problem for too long. you'll find people that talk about ways to help fix pollution, but nothing significant is being done to actually make a difference. Fighting about how it should be done won't get the problem solved. Its time we come to a compromise and find a way to both pick plastic out the ocean to be recycled, and also use something other than plastic in our everyday products. I remember how plastic bags weren't used for a few years where I lived, which I found was a very good way to reduce plastic use. My mother started using tote bags to carry groceries. I know that others didn't like this idea because they reused their plastic bags for other purposes such as a small trash bag. Not everyone agreed, but I think it was a good move toward fixing pollution. pushing pollution under the rug just because we can't find a middle ground is not smart. Its time we took care of our home.

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  18. I think this will be a good idea, but if we are trying to protect marine life and clean the ocean, why consider doing this if it will clean the ocean but harm the creatures living in it? It seems to be counterproductive, but cleaning could help out some of the sea creatures in the long run, some of them may just have to suffer first.

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  19. English 1001 - 10
    I have performed some research about the impact that fishing practices have on coral reefs. Similar to the dilemma of garbage soon encompassing a whole separate continent, human impact on the earth is utterly destructive and intolerable for the natural environment. The plastic is not just going to go away if we direct our efforts solely on plastic waste in the present. There should be split efforts, also aimed at extracting the current damage. There must be a human way of doing so, though. I believe that in order to reduce the plastic fortress, it is necessary to continue efforts such as charging for plastic shopping bags, but also setting limits on the number of bags per month or something of that sort. Plastic water bottles can also be used and unless they are being mass purchased for supporting poverty-stricken nations or other situation-based event, there should be no real reason to purchase that many water bottles, other than pure laziness.

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  20. I never realized the fact that groups were just trying to reduce the amount of plastic that goes in the ocean. All this time I thought they were doing something to clean out the ocean as well as trying to reduce the amount of garbage that enters every day. I agree to the fact that there should be something done to reduce the amount of plastic that enters.
    This needs to be done by all of us, they should figure out a way to involve more teens, and young adults to help, not just people interested in that field of work.

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  21. Growing up I'd always hear a lot of complaints about the trash in the oceans but never really heard much about anyone putting in effort to clean it up and make the littering stop other than the few Disney Commercials of people doing community service. I truly admire Boyan Slat for being proactive and doing what he can to keep our earth healthy. He's really making the most out of this situation by recycling the plastic and selling it. People, including myself should put in more effort to keep our earth clean. The damaging effects of this littering can really hurt, and even end humanity. I personally feel like people are going to have actually see and feel how they are negatively affected in order to have the drive to do something about it. Its sad that something bad has to happen in order for people to care, but unfortunately this is how the world works. Hopefully by the time people start caring about our planet it isn't already too late.

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  22. The biggest impact of ocean trash I have seen is that no one has been to the beach to swim in my hometown. it was a bad idea that people throw the trash into the sea, it will cause some disease such as rash. the rash was happened in my hometown because the ocean was too dirty. The government implemented a plan to control ocean trash after the accident, it seems that nobody concerned about the ocean trash. i think the increase in population and The failure of moral culture education are main reasons.

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