Tuesday March 19, 2019
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“A Plastic Ocean”: The Film focusses on Plastics in the Oceans that is harming Marine Life

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Plastic sludge and garbage, a blight on the world’s oceans.

Eight million metric tons of plastic wind up each year in the oceans, harming marine life and entering the food chain.

A film crew traveled the globe to document the rubbish, producing a new documentary film called A Plastic Ocean that looks at the problem, and its solutions.

Julie Andersen of the Plastic Oceans Foundation said what is seen is just the tip of the problem.

“Half of the waste actually sinks to the bottom, some plastic sinks to the bottom, and what remains on the surface actually breaks down,” Andersen said.

The filmmakers found trash in ocean gyres, the circulating currents that trap large concentrations of pollution in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, home of what some have called a plastic island.

“What we found in the center of the Pacific was not a floating island of plastic. What we found was a plastic smog that permeated all the water,” Andersen said.

The debris infects the food chain, sometimes visibly, and more so at the microscopic level, where the plastic particles interact with other pollutants.

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Adam Leipzig, producer of A Plastic Ocean, said, “Heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, industrial runoff. It acts like magnets. These toxins hitchhike on the plastic, and when seafood ingests the plastics, those toxins offload into the fatty tissues.”

Those fish are then consumed by other sea life and by people.

China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are the worst plastic polluters. The United States, although a leader in recycling, is in the top 20, since it produces and consumes so much plastic.

There are efforts around the world to address the problem, including at this newly opened recycling center in Lebanon.

But Andersen said there is more people can do.

“Cut back on single-use plastics, straws, plastic cups, plastic water bottles, plastic bags and find alternatives like reusable materials,” she said.

She said healthy oceans are essential to our survival. (VOA)

Next Story

India Signs Agreement With Norway to Combat Marine Pollution

A joint Task Force on Blue Economy with government officials, researchers and experts as well as the private sector was established to develop sustainable solutions within its strategic areas, such as maritime and marine sector in addition to energy.

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A joint Task Force on Blue Economy with government officials, researchers and experts as well as the private sector was established to develop sustainable solutions within its strategic areas, such as maritime and marine sector in addition to energy. Pixabay

India’s Environment Ministry on Monday signed an agreement with the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry for an initiative seeking to combat marine pollution.

This initiative will seek to support local governments in implementing sustainable waste management practices, develop systems for collecting and analysing information about sources and scope of marine pollution and improve private sector investment.

Support will also be directed towards beach clean-up efforts, awareness raising campaigns and pilot project using plastic waste as fuel substitution for coal in cement production and developing frameworks for deposit schemes.

marine pollution
This initiative will seek to support local governments in implementing sustainable waste management practices, develop systems for collecting and analysing information about sources and scope of marine pollution and improve private sector investment. Pixabay

Last month, India and Norway agreed to work more closely in this field by establishing the India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative and the India-Norway Ocean Dialogues during the Norwegian Prime Minister’s visit to India.

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A joint Task Force on Blue Economy with government officials, researchers and experts as well as the private sector was established to develop sustainable solutions within its strategic areas, such as maritime and marine sector in addition to energy.

In partnership, Norway and India will share experiences and competence, and collaborate on efforts to develop clean and healthy oceans, sustainable use of ocean resources and growth in the blue economy. (IANS)