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post #1 of 48 Old 10-15-2019 Thread Starter
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Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

A new study looking at plastic pollution has concluded that most of it is coming from CARGO* ships, not land-based sources as has been commonly blamed.

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2.../24/1909816116

Ships are illegally dumping plastic trash at sea, study suggests

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"It's a surprise in that it makes us rethink the source of the garbage in our oceans," said Robert Ronconi, a Halifax-based researcher, currently with the Canadian Wildlife Service, who co-authored the new study. "One of the common assumptions is that most of the garbage in the oceans is flowing out of rivers on land."
Also interesting (to me anyway) is the paper identifies plastic drink bottles as a major source of this pollution:

Quote:
During the last 3 decades, plastic drink bottles have shown the fastest growth rate of all debris types...
Recently there’s been this big focus on getting rid of plastic straws. Seems to me this study shows that we’d do a lot more if we could get rid of all these single-use plastic drink bottles, most especially for water — what a waste.

*I made a mistake.

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Last edited by MikeOReilly; 10-15-2019 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Mistake on my part.
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post #2 of 48 Old 10-15-2019
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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

What else is interesting is how cruise ships aren’t the boon thought to the local economy.
Compare someone visiting and staying in a local b&b, hotel or resort. They use local labor for maintenance, construction, services and transportation. They do all their eating and drinking on land keeping local restaurants and bars open doing business and offering work.
A cruise ship comes with its own labor, services and infrastructure.
What islanders need is jobs. Hospitality jobs are good paying as are construction and maintenance. Other than taxi drivers no one makes out much from the cruise ships. Maybe a lunch or a few drinks. Even tours are done in large groups so offer fewer jobs. Still, you see huge projects throughout the islands to provide berthing for these monsters. Money talks...bs walks.
We see a cruise ship we leave. It changes an idyllic setting to the New York subway in winter.

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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
A new study looking at plastic pollution has concluded that most of it is coming from cruise liners, not land-based sources as has been commonly blamed.
The foregoing is not correct. Both reports refer to "ships" not "cruise liners".

While I am no fan of cruise ships, my (much) better half is and, consequently, I have been aboard a number of the Celebrity liners and, during such cruises, spent a lot of time going through the ships vitals with a number of the officers and engineering staff while my wife did the Spa thing. As I have been critical of waste from "ships", and particularly plastic water bottles, I was particularly interested in how the ships managed waste.

Aboard Celebrity, and I am reasonably sure other cruise lines as well, I found that trash is sorted, plastic bottles, glass and cans separated out, shredded or crushed and bailed/bagged for shore side recycling or disposal. As we did two cruises "back-to-back" on one occasion, we remained aboard during a lay-over and I watched from our stateroom balcony as bails of shredded plastic, compacted cans, and bags of crushed glass were unloaded to trash haulers on the dockside below. The ship's officers, and particularly the ship's Captain/Commanding Officer--a lady by the way--were all very impressively concerned about the quality of their waste management. I suspect other cruise lines have similar protocols but doubt that commercial cargo vessels come even remotely close and there are far more of those a sea.

One needs lay blame where it is due and not generalize from the specific in the reports. (FWIW I think disposable plastic drink bottles should be entirely banned but that's another discussion.)

FWIW...

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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

So what do you propose to replace them with?


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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

I do a lot of litter pickup, both land and along the shore. On land, cigarette filters are a huge problem. Along the shore, I find tons!! of balloons, with their attached strings--more than anything else.

I pick up very few plastic drinking straws on either land or shore. The few I find are typically still stuck in the lid.
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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
So what do you propose to replace them with?
Paper.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/...ne/3948909002/
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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
The foregoing is not correct. Both reports refer to "ships" not "cruise liners".
Yes, you are correct. My bad. I assume since most transport ships carry few crew, hence produce little garbage, the main source must be those ships that carry thousands of people. But you’re right, it only refers to ships, so it could be either, neither or both.

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So what do you propose to replace them with?
What did we all do before these plastic bottles became the norm? Reusable glass was the norm when I grew up. Make the deposit large enough and most people will return them.

The growth of people carrying their own travel mugs is another example of how it could be done. A significant number of people use their own mugs for coffee. Why not extend that to all beverages. Obviously wouldn’t work everywhere, but it is an example of how things can change.
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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
A new study looking at plastic pollution has concluded that most of it is coming from cruise liners, not land-based sources as has been commonly blamed.

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2.../24/1909816116

Ships are illegally dumping plastic trash at sea, study suggests


.
Where does it say cruise liners in the article? I only saw references to shipping. Did I miss it?

Edited: Oops, I see svHyLyte already pointed that out

Last edited by MastUndSchotbruch; 10-15-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

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Originally Posted by MastUndSchotbruch View Post
Where does it say cruise liners in the article? I only saw references to shipping. Did I miss it?
Uhmm… Post #7?

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re: Cargo ships source of plastic pollution

To be clear, the conclusion of the article is that a large proportion of the plastic pollution on one island in the south-central Atlantic is from shipping, mostly plastic bottles that came from China. It makes no statements about worldwide pollution sources, except to reiterate that 80% probably comes from the land, and most of the rest is fishing nets.
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