We’ve made enough plastic trash to bury Manhattan under 2-miles of the stuff

July 21, 2017 by  
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Whether you get an iced latte to-go in the morning, your restaurant leftovers in a plastic takeaway container, or forget to take a reusable bags to the store, there are numerous ways  disposable plastic  adds up –   and that is a huge problem. According to the first global analysis of the production of plastics, humans now produce more plastic than anything else and, as a result, have created 8.3 billion tonnes of the stuff since the 1950s. If the trend continues, humans will eventually bury the planet in plastics, which require hundreds — if not thousands — of years to decompose. The study was published in Science Advances and unearthed some dizzying facts. For instance, around 79 percent of the plastic produced ends up in landfills, where it is simply buried and forgotten. Additionally, a large percentage of this waste goes into the oceans where it contaminates the environment , often times poisons or chokes wildlife, and breaks down into tiny pieces, which later collect in giant convergences such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch . The study also found that only 9 percent of all plastics are recycled, and a further 12 percent are incinerated. “The only way to permanently eliminate plastic waste” is to burn or melt it down, the authors wrote . “Thus, near-permanent contamination of the natural environment with plastic waste is a growing concern.” For the study, the researchers looked at various kinds of plastics, from resin to fibers. They deduced that production has increased from around 2 million tonnes (2.2 m tons) a year in 1950 to an astonishing 400 million tonnes (440 m tons) in 2015. Plastic is now the most produced man-made material, with the exception of items such as steel and cement. However, unlike those two industrial materials which are put to use for decades, plastic is single-use, therefore, is most often discarded right away. The researchers make it clear that while it is not plausible to completely eliminate plastic from the modern world, production and use needs to decrease dramatically to benefit the ecosystem as a whole. “Most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, so the plastic waste humans have generated could be with us for hundreds or even thousands of years,” said Jenna Jambeck, who co-authored the study. “Our estimates underscore the need to think critically about the materials we use and our waste management practices.” The advice is spot-on, considering a recent paper found the micro plastics were present in every marine animal which was sampled in Australia — even those thought to be inaccessible. Related: Scotland bans plastic bags, spares landfill 650 million bags in just one year To reduce your dependence on plastic, you can buy whole, unprocessed foods and biodegradable soaps in bulk and keep them in mason jars at home, remember to take your reusable bags to the grocery store and farmer’s market and take advantage of thrift store offerings (or similar apps which connect you with second-hand goods) to reduce waste and needless packaging. Making this effort will help reduce the amount of plastic in the environment and, as a result, ensure a habitable environment exists for future generations. + Science Advances Via LA Times Images via Depositphotos and   Pixabay

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We’ve made enough plastic trash to bury Manhattan under 2-miles of the stuff

Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup takes to the air to count plastic trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

October 3, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IjaZ2g-21E The concept behind the Ocean Cleanup Array is so simple that many have criticized the device as being “too good to be true,” especially given the project’s $2.2 million price tag. However, the results of a year-long feasibility study and a test run in the North Sea this summer prove the contraption works. Slat aims, though, to clean up 42 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’s plastic pollution in the next 10 years, and that goal will likely take much more than the initial crowdfunded budget. Critics say the cost is higher than the reward, but they might change their minds when they find out how big the problem really is. Related: Boyan Slat’s Great Pacific Garbage Patch expedition shows the plastic problem is “even bigger than we thought” A bird’s eye view of ocean trash The controversy exists in part because nobody really knows how much plastic trash is floating in the ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) first reported on the existence of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1988 but due to its size and location, it has been difficult to assess just how much trash is caught up in the vortex. Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project is attempting to find out, by deploying two low-speed, low-altitude reconnaissance flights from Moffett Airfield in its modified C-130 Hercules aircraft (named “Ocean Force One”) outfitted with high-tech sensors and expert spotters. The main drive behind the aerial survey is to identify and count the ghost nets, which have been deemed one of the biggest threats to marine animals . Today, Slat shared the initial findings of the first aerial survey, which took place yesterday along the northern edge of the Garbage Patch. Flight one successfully completed! Initial results will be shared at press conference Monday 11am PT. We’ll be broadcasting live here on Facebook. Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Sunday, October 2, 2016 Slat spent some time explaining the technology used to assess the Garbage Patch. “One of [the reasons we’re using such a large aircraft] is the size of our crew… Really the only way to get there is to have an aircraft with a very large range. Even with this aircraft, we had to install two additional large fuel tanks to get the range that we needed to get all the way to the Garbage Patch,” said Slat about the 1,000-mile trip to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He went on to explain that the aircraft was outfitted with “experimental sensors” being used for the first time to detect plastic in the ocean. Human observers were also on board to keep notes of their observations to aid in the expedition’s goal. They also used lidar technology (like radar, but using light) to get 3D images of objects under the surface of the water. What kind of trash is in the ocean? While it’s widely known that massive amounts of plastic trash have evaded the waste collection process and found their way into open waters, not all of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made of plastic. Ghost nets are one key exception, and they wind up floating in the ocean when fishing boats leave them behind after they become entangled on a reef, rocky sea floor, or other debris. It’s not difficult to imagine how marine creatures can become trapped in these nearly invisible nets, unable to free themselves, since that is precisely the purpose of a fishing net. Although these nets are a major threat, much of the rest of the debris found in the Garbage Patch is small, confetti-like pieces of plastic and other materials that have been broken down over time, simultaneously making it easier for marine creatures to ingest them and making it more difficult to catch them with a cleanup net. Aerial Expedition – Ocean Force One Tour Take a tour aboard the Ocean Force One, which is set to map the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this weekend. Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Thursday, September 29, 2016 Inhabitat had the chance to speak with Boyan Slat about the project. Based on what you are seeing so far, how are you feeling about the prospect of cleaning this up? “Sometimes there is a lot of talk about this just stuff being just small pieces or there not being a garbage patch, I think it is just sort of very hard to deny when you look at it out of the door of an aircraft and you just see this stuff everywhere…There is a lot of stuff out there, it is certainly more than we thought. As time goes by we actually start to start to feel more and more confident that we will be able to clean it up.” Slat estimates that 100km of array could clean up 50% of the patch, but the team is working on improving that. “We’re really trying to optimize the design, to make it higher. We’re always asking the question how can we make it more efficient, how can we make it faster, how can we make it cheaper.” Related: World’s first Ocean Cleanup Array will start removing plastic from the seas in 2016 When will the Ocean Cleanup Array tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Despite ongoing criticisms, Slat remains confident that his Ocean Cleanup Array is an effective solution to one of the biggest environmental disasters on the globe, and his team is looking forward to a full deployment in the Pacific Ocean by 2020. In the meantime, a series of expeditions are being conducted to measure the size and scope of the Garbage Patch in order to plan cleanup efforts. A ‘Mega Expedition’ of 30 vessels ventured across the center of the Garbage Patch in the summer of 2015 and worked to create the first high-resolution map of the trash vortex. The ongoing Aerial Expedition will cover some 2,316 square miles, an area 300 times the size of last year’s research mission. A Pacific Pilot test program is slated for the second half of 2017, inching closer to the 2020 launch date. You can watch the entire press conference here: NOW LIVE: Aerial Expedition press conference Posted by The Ocean Cleanup on Monday, October 3, 2016   + The Ocean Cleanup Project + Boyan Slat Images via NOAA News ,  The Ocean Cleanup Project , and  NOAA Marine Debris  

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Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup takes to the air to count plastic trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Seabin Project Aims To Reduce Ocean Pollution

August 4, 2016 by  
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Have you heard of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s a huge pile of garbage that’s located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – and it’s larger than the great state of Texas. Sadly, there are millions of tons of garbage that have collected into…

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Seabin Project Aims To Reduce Ocean Pollution

Inhabitat’s Top 7 Most Inspiring Stories of 2014

December 26, 2014 by  
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Every year you come across those stories that warm your heart and lift your spirits. Whether it involves a tough old lady who refused to back down to developers or a teenager with a brilliant idea that could save the oceans , they’re the kind of stories that give you hope for the future of society. This year we saw stories about a kayak instructor who built his own woodland home for just $11,000 and a round-up of DIY homes that anyone can build on the cheap. Hamburg announced plans to become car-free in the near future and a group of 16-year old girls from Ireland showed the world how to improve crop yields . Check out the stories and tell us which one inspires you most. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2014 inhabitat stories , affordable eco-friendly homes , Angelika Fritsch , Émer Hickey , biochemistry , Boyan Slat , Brian Schulz , car free , cheap home designs , Ciara Judge , cleaning the oceans , cleaning the pacific , Climate Change , cycle path , Derek Diedricksen , DIY homes , DIY houses , eco-friendly homes , eco-travel , Edith Macefield , food security , garbage patch , gentrification fight Seattle , gentrification Seattle , gentrification US cities , global food crisis , Google Science Fair , Grünes Netz , green interiors , Green Network , how to build a house , increased crop yield , Inhabitat inspiring stories , Inhabitat top stories , Irish teenagers win Google Science Fair 2014 , Japanese Forest House , Japanese inspired home , macy miller , most inspiring inhabitat stories , nitrogen fixing , Ocean Cleanup Array , old lady folk hero Seattle , pacific garbage patch , plastic fibres , plastic foodchain , plastic recycling , Recycled Materials , resilient design , Rural Studios , salvaged wood , sea level rise , seattle architecture , Seattle landmarks , Seattle shopping mall , self-built houses , social responsibility , Sophie Healy-Thow , Steve Areen , symbiotic relationship , The Ocean Cleanup Foundation , tiny home , tiny homes , tiny homes under $20k , top inhabitat stories , urban parks , urban planning , wooden shelter , woodland dwelling , world hunger

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Inhabitat’s Top 7 Most Inspiring Stories of 2014

Expedition Finds Permanent Plastic Islands Within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

July 23, 2014 by  
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Back in 1997 Capt. Charles Moore discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch during a sailboat race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Since then, many have tried to reduce the size of the patch , which is said to be the size of Texas . Unfortunately, Moore recently returned to the area and has discovered that permanent islands of plastic now exist within the patch. Read the rest of Expedition Finds Permanent Plastic Islands Within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , Captain Charles Moore , great pacific garbage patch , japan tsunami , Ocean Debris , Ocean Plastic , pacific garbage patch , Plastic Islands , plastic waste

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Expedition Finds Permanent Plastic Islands Within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

INTERVIEW: Boyan Slat, Teenage Inventor of the Ocean Cleanup Array

July 7, 2014 by  
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Last year, 19-year-old inventor Boyan Slat made waves by designing an “ Ocean Cleanup Array ” which he claimed could remove 72.5 million tons of plastic from the world’s oceans. Although his idea received criticism from some quarters , a year-long feasibility study concluded that the idea will work. Not just that—it could potentially remove half the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within a decade . The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for the young inventor; he’s given talks around the world and conducted tests in The Azores . We sat down with Boyan Slat to ask him about his inspiration, dealing with criticism and what the future holds for the Ocean Cleanup Array . Read the rest of INTERVIEW: Boyan Slat, Teenage Inventor of the Ocean Cleanup Array Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , Boyan Slat array , cleaning plastic , cleaning trash , crowd sourcing ocean array , Crowdfunding , crowdfunding ocean array , garbage patch , interview , Ocean Array , ocean cleaning , ocean cleanup , Ocean Cleanup Array , Ocean Plastic , Ocean plastic cleanup , ocean trash cleanup , pacific garbage patch , sea patch , sea plastic , the ocean cleanup

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INTERVIEW: Boyan Slat, Teenage Inventor of the Ocean Cleanup Array

Donate to Suck Millions of Tons of Plastic Out of the World’s Oceans!

June 18, 2014 by  
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Plastic waste in the ocean is no joke – there are millions of tons of it out there, wreaking all kinds of havoc on sea life and the ocean’s ecology. It’s easy to feel helpless, especially since the problem has become so enormous, but there is a way that even the most land-locked citizens can help clean things up. The Ocean Cleanup Array , invented by 19-year old Boyan Slat, has proven to be a viable solution for cleaning the oceans – and that’s where you come in. Right now the Ocean Cleanup team is looking for funding to launch the project so that we can finally start removing a significant amount of plastic from the ocean, and your donation could make all the difference . DONATE TO FUND THE OCEAN CLEANUP > Read the rest of Donate to Suck Millions of Tons of Plastic Out of the World’s Oceans! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , Boyan Slat array , cleaning plastic , cleaning trash , crowd sourcing ocean array , Crowdfunding , crowdfunding ocean array , garbage patch , Ocean Array , ocean cleaning , ocean cleanup , Ocean Cleanup Array , Ocean Plastic , Ocean plastic cleanup , ocean trash cleanup , pacific garbage patch , sea patch , sea plastic

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Donate to Suck Millions of Tons of Plastic Out of the World’s Oceans!

Archimusic: Federico Babina Reimagines Famous Songs and Musicians as Architecture

June 18, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Archimusic: Federico Babina Reimagines Famous Songs and Musicians as Architecture Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: archimusic , architecture art , architecture illustrations , david bowie buiding , Federico Babina , Mozart building music inspired architecture , music and architecture , music inspired buildings

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Archimusic: Federico Babina Reimagines Famous Songs and Musicians as Architecture

19-Year-Old’s Ocean Cleanup Array Could Clean Half the Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 Years, Study Shows

June 11, 2014 by  
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Last year we reported on teenage inventor Boyan Slat’s plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. His proposal for an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms received a lot of criticism – but now, just over a year later, Boyan is back with the results of a year-long investigation that shows his invention does offer a feasible method to rid the world’s oceans of plastic pollution. In fact, he claims that a single array could remove half of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 10 years. Read the rest of 19-Year-Old’s Ocean Cleanup Array Could Clean Half the Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 Years, Study Shows Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , garbage patch , Gyres , Ocean Cleanup Array , pacific garbage patch , plastic fibres , plastic foodchain , plastic recycling , TED , The Ocean Cleanup Foundation

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19-Year-Old’s Ocean Cleanup Array Could Clean Half the Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 Years, Study Shows

Clunky Old School Bus Converted into a Sweet Earthy Home With a Wood-fired Stove

June 11, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Clunky Old School Bus Converted into a Sweet Earthy Home With a Wood-fired Stove Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , bus , Cascades , eco design , green design , green renovation , mobile home , natural ventilation , school bus conversion , sustainable design , usa , wood-fired stove , wpi Creative

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Clunky Old School Bus Converted into a Sweet Earthy Home With a Wood-fired Stove

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