The Fitness of Our Planet: Cleaning Up The Pacific Ocean

Our team is focused on getting America back into shape. We also have a long term goal to help get the planet back into shape with environmentally sustainable business practices and to begin reversing the disposal of waste in to the Ocean. Many of you may have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a large plastic natural disaster that has now grown to an immense size. Current estimates from water samples project its size to be between 270,000 sq. miles to as large as 5,800,000 sq. miles. We are developing multiple vertically integrated plastics recycling systems in order to join forces with companies like Method® to help clean up the largest ocean on Earth.

As Amara grows we will reveal more of “The Amara Project” and our long term goal.

Credit: h20distributors.com

A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF TRASH FLOATS IN OUR OCEANS

1.4 billion pounds of trash enters the ocean each year , enough to circle the earth 4 times.

Multiple trash vortexes float in our oceans, covering a quarter of the earth’s surface.

These dense islands of trash are part of an increasingly toxic plastic soup spreading throughout our oceans.

The largest trash vortex, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is thought to be twice the size of Texas–and growing.

  • it has been tentatively mapped into an east and west section
  • the combined weight of plastic there is estimated at three million tons and increasing steadily
COMPOSED MOSTLY OF DISPOSABLE CONSUMER PLASTICS

100 million tons of plastic float in the earth’s oceans where it outnumbers zooplankton six to one (Leahy, 2004-Leahy, Stephen. Drowning in an Ocean of Plastic. 2004. http://www.culturechange.org/Petroleum&Plastics.html).

Plastic accounts for 60-80% of marine garbage; in high-density areas, up to 95% (Weisman, 2007, lan Weisman, The World Without Us. 2007).

In this century’s first decade, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000.

The total global production of plastic, which was five million tons in the 1950s, is expected to hit 260 million tons this year.

The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.

Disposable plastics—bags, bottles, straws—are only used for seconds, hours, or days, but their remains have lasting effects.

Plastic Bags

  • Single-use plastic bags first appeared in the US in 1957
  •  worldwide there are more than a trillion manufactured every year, although the upward trend is now levelling off and falling in many countries
  •  We reduced our plastic bag use by 26 per cent last year, to 9.9 billion.

Bottled Water

  • Bottled water entered the mass market in the mid-1980s. Global consumption is now 200 billion litres a year
  • only one in five of those plastic bottles is recycled.
WHICH MAKE THEIR WAY INTO THE OCEANS

In Los Angeles alone, 10 metric tones of plastic are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.

Discarded plastic junk travels from gutters and storm drains into rivers and streams, eventually flowing into the ocean where it gets trapped by currents and creates vast regions of plastic soup.

TO STAY FOR GOOD AND LEACH CHEMICALS

Plastic creates toxic pollution at every stage of its existence: manufacture, use, and disposal.

Although plastic was long been considered indestructible (taking 500 to 1,000 years to decompose), researchers now report that toxic chemicals (like BPAs and PCBs) leach from decomposing plastics and harm marine ecosystems.

THAT POLLUTE THE ECOSYSTEM

The concentration of PCBs in plastics floating in the ocean has been documented as 100,000 to 1 million times that of surrounding waters.

AND HARM ANIMALS

Chemicals leached from plastic such as BPA and PS oligomer can disrupt the functioning of hormones in animals and can seriously affect reproductive systems.

Marine Animals

  • Plastic is found in the stomachs of 85% of turtle species, 43% of seabird species, and 44% of marine mammals (Derraik, 2002–Derraik, J. The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris. 2002. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0025-326X(02)00220-5).
  • When fish and other marine species mistake the plastic items for food, they ingest the particles and pass toxic chemicals through the food chain
  • Almost every marine organism is contaminated by plastic, from microscopic plankton to whales, the largest mammals on earth

Sea Turtles

  • Sea turtles also mistake floating plastic garbage for food.
  • Ingestion of plastic can lead to blockage in the gut, ulceration, internal perforation and death; even if their organs remain intact, turtles may suffer from false sensations of satiation and slow or halt reproduction.
AND PEOPLE

BPA is already inside almost all of us (93% of Americans 6 or older test positive).

Chemicals leached by plastic are highly toxic and have a wide range of chronic effects, including endocrine disruption and cancer-causing mutations.

These chemicals are even found in newborns and in breast milk.

The concentration of PCBs in plastics floating in the ocean has been documented as 100,000 to 1 million times that of surrounding waters.

Plastic pollution affects our economy, costing us untold dollars spent in beach cleanups, tourism losses and damages to fishing and aquaculture industries. Kamilo Beach, in a remote corner of Hawaii, is now known as “Plastic Beach” for the tons of plastic debris that accumulates on its shores.

MERMAID TEARS

  • Nearly all consumer plastics begin as small manufactured pellets, known as nurdles. More than 100 billion kilograms of nurdles are shipped around the world every year to become plastic products
  • Nurdles have a knack for spilling and escaping. They are light enough to become airborne in a good wind, and can now be found in every ocean in the world, hence their nickname: mermaids’ tears.
CLEANUP STARTS ON LAND

To help visualize that massive heap of trash, Stiv Wilson of the ocean conservation group 5 Gyres(who estimates 315 billion pounds of plastic in the ocean right now) divides by a “supertanker” — that is, a giant ship that could theoretically sail through the seas, skimming out the plastic junk as it goes (much of which hovers down to 90 feet below the surface).

No such ship has been outfitted to skim plastic. But let’s say it did, and it could hold 500 million pounds of plastic. You’d need 630 of them to do the job, or about 17 percent of the planet’s current fleet of oil tankers.

The solution? Throw away less. Invest in safer, bio-degradable consumer packaging