MIDWAY : a film by Chris Jordan

Here is a trailer for a film about the plastic pollution on Midway Atoll. Midway Atoll is situated in the North Pacific Ocean, about halfway between USA and Asia, hence the name ‘Midway’. Because of its location, it is particularly susceptible to marine debris from the Pacific Gyre, resulting in the beaches getting swamped by plastic pollution.

This film is a bold reminder of the extent of our world’s plastic problem; it is such a horrible sight to see.

There are 1.5million Laysan Albatross inhabiting the Midway Islands, traces of plastic have been found in nearly all of these birds digestive systems, furthermore a third of Albatross chicks die due to plastic caused starvation!

Midway: a plastic Beach

The state of this Atoll demonstrates the extent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and really proves the severity of the world’s plastic problem. So there should be no excuses to collect litter off the beach, limit use of disposable plastics and recycle as much as possible!

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International Coastal Clean Up Day

Beach: Ngarunui Beach, Raglan

Tide: Low – rising

Weather: Sunny but cold, first calm day after the storm

Today’s Catch:

  • 1 plastic flower pot
  • 1 ‘bingo’ pen
  • 1 plastic, netting fruit bag
  • 2 balloons one from ‘cancer society’
  • 1 cigarette packet
  • 1 cigarette butt
  • 1 lolly pop stick
  • 1 drinks straw
  • 1 long metal pole
  • 1 bucket handle
  • Part of a shotgun pellet
  • 10 bottle lids
  • 1 drinks bottle
  • 3 candy bar wrappers (one Cadburys)
  • 1 Large piece of polystyrene
  • 8 pieces of clear plastic wrapping
  • 12 pieces of pallet ties (some metres long)
  • 9 pieces of fishing rope
  • 38 small pieces of miscellaneous plastic
  • 19 Nurdles (Raw plastic pellets)
  • 53 pieces of other micro-plastics (<3mm)
  • 2 pieces of glass

Beach status now:  Not clean at all. If I had time, I think I could have found thousands of pieces of micro plastics. It is really depressing to see Nurdles on Raglan beaches, they cause huge problems for marine life as they look very similar to fish eggs, so get eaten & fill their stomachs, making them eventually starve.

Amount recycled: 30% all pieces of plastic, bottle lids and clear wrappers

Amount re-used: 10% Flower pot and metal bar

Amount in landfill: 60% (unfortunately) Everything else!

Marine debris + Kitten = hours of entertainment!

Catalyst: Plastic Oceans

Catalyst: Plastic Oceans  was recently aired on ABC in Australia.

This show is about the current research on marine debris by CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and it highlights the plastic pollution problem in Australia.

The flesh footed Shearwater populations on Lord Howe island are an example of how bad the plastic pollution problem has become; many shearwaters, both adult and chicks have been many found dead with stomachs full of plastic. Examinations of these birds show they are the most contaminated marine bird populations on the planet; they had concentrations of mercury up to 1000-3000ppm; anything above 4.3ppm is toxic to birds!
Plastic that has been in the ocean for many years acts as a sponge to contaminants in seawater, and they stick to the surface of the plastic. The surface of marine plastic has been found to contain 1000times more contaminants than in the surrounding seawater. This is also a major issue for humans, as these toxins accumulate up to food chain, ending with us!
So everyone needs to try and avoid using single-use plastics…and if it is absolutely necessary make sure they are reused or recycled!

WATCH THIS

Link to CSIRO website for more information on the marine debris project

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