A blog about the latest developments in the food technology sector.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
THE TRASH THAT IS OVERWHELMING THE PLANET-AN OCEANIC PROBLEM!
Modern day ocean waters have some strange company joining them uninvited and sure they do not make the waters happier compared to what they were 100 years ago before the industrial revolution. to day's ocean waters have become so polluted that these natural water bodies are no more friendly to thousands of creatures which had made them their home for millions of years. The major culprit is a group of man made materials every body knows by that ubiquitous name Plastics. If environmentalist are to be believed millions of pieces of plastic materials in different sizes, colors and shapes find their way into the seas and oceans and there is very little that is being done to prevent this blatant destruction of natural environment and resources. Half way measures like banning plastics, a variety of recycling programs, development of sustainable plastics and financial and policy incentives are not touching even the fringe of the problem, let alone solving it. Isolated groups of people interested in doing some thing to stem this undesirable and dangerous trend have their own way to contribute to lessen the burden on the sea. Here is a critique on the tragedy of plastics.
"The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that over 46,000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square mile of ocean. Some researchers calculate that 4.7 million tons of plastic waste reaches the sea annually, swept from mundane terrestrial existence into swirling adventure via rivers and sewage drains, or dumped from ships.Toothbrushes, syringes, dentures, Lego blocks, lighters. These are just a few of the plastic players that frolic in the waves, catching a lift on oceanic currents to eventually find their way to the ever-growing plastic trash party known as theGreat Pacific Garbage Patch, the "plastic soup" of waste that now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States. But then there are the strays, the rebellious pens and bags and bottles that take a turn away from a future as marine detritus and instead find refuge on the sandy shore. Washed up like castaways, they bake in the sun and wait to return to the sea or some other unknown fate. Which is whereWillis Elkins– artist, environmentalist,urban kayaker, documenter of debris, savior of trash – enters the picture. Like a Victorian collector of natural specimens, Elkins searches out and catalogues the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life. His trash-scouting adventures and the fruits of his labor are chronicled atouterspacecities.com, where his logs and archaeological surveys of mostly ocean debris are kept – like theNew York City Lighter Log, which follows 1900 disposable plastic cigarette lighters, collected, mapped, and photographed, from 47 different waterfront locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City."
Trash in any form is not a material that can be strewn around because of many predictable consequences arising out of possible decay and decomposition due to the action of sun, rain and wind. Plastics pose much more danger because they are practically indestructible for ages, average life being 800 years and the decomposition products of plastics are generally toxic to all living creatures on this planet. Most plastics leach out chemicals which often act as endocrine disruptors causing hormonal imbalances and consequent health impairment in many people. There are also reports that plastic pieces are increasingly being found inside the fish posing further dangers to humanity besides affecting the fish reproductive cycle. Unless the world wakes up to these dangers and takes serious steps to address this problem, the consequences of ignoring it may be too heavy for future generations.