keep it clean “Water is the one substance from which the earth can conceal nothing; it sucks out its innermost secrets and brings them to our very lips.” Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944)


keep it clean

“Water is the one substance from which the earth can conceal nothing; it sucks out its innermost secrets and brings them to our very lips.” Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944)

No matter what, plastic will be part of our world for as long as any of us are around. The only path open to us is to agree that plastic or any non-native debris left in natural spaces is wrong and, if unchecked, will compound as global populations grow.

An Observation From California
At home I have BLUE-recycling bins for non-green items and BROWN bins for other trash.Our harbor has BLUE-recycling bins on walkways surrounding the docks and BROWN-recycling bins on the docks.One nearby community employs only BROWN-recycling bins.Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency no regulation exists to standardize recycling containers.

Related Euro Comment
A guy in Scandinavia who recently wrote to a forum discussing these same problems had the following input: “Plastic can be recycled very well as long as you are able to identify it. Here in Europe not only each country has its own policy but even counties/provinces or local councils may have their own methods and policy, which does not make things easier. Another thing that makes recycling more complicated is two different international standards to mark plastic parts to help identification. One system works with letters, the other with numbers…

For on board life the least we can do is collect all the waste and dump it at the waste station in the next marina.

Related Transoceanic Comment
S.A.’s own Lia Ditton recently emailed this: “When I rowed across the Atlantic last year, I was astonished (and horrified) to actually be able to see little silicon-beads of plastic particles dancing on the water.” What Lia was horrified by may have been “nurdles”. Per Wikipedia:

“Nurdles, also known as mermaids’ tears, are plastic pellets typically under five millimeters in diameter, and are a major component of marine debris. They are used as a raw material in plastics manufacturing, and are thought to enter the natural environment after accidental spillages. Small plastic fragments are also created by the physical weathering of larger plastic debris. Nurdles strongly resemble fish eggs.” More.

How do we fix such problems in light of an apparent lack of local, national or global initiatives?

In fairness, I’m guessing few simple answers exist, that experts have not had time to get their minds fully around solutions and that the hysteria, though misguided is usually well intended (exceptions being those who seek only to promote themselves or their products). Obviously something needs to be done… soon.

I offer the following as a small contribution:

– I have a growing list of companies seeking to provide more planet friendly plastic products and will be happy to maintain it on the web as a resource for all to use and / or contribute to. I’d like feedback on this concept from interested parties.

– I also have a number of bits and pieces of statistical information I can provide. My goal in collecting this has been to look for hard (as opposed to hyped) information from reputable sources (NOAA, Scripps, National Geographic, etc.) – information that points out problems and provides solutions. Some of this material is very impressive and includes documentary films as well as straight statistics.

– I’ve started to layout a questionnaire aimed at gathering real input from real people. My thought being that conflicting information coupled with a growing problem is a recipe for ongoing failure. If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to send this to you.

– And finally, I’ve aligned with SA to provide discounts on the vapur ANTI-BOTTLES I sell through my business.

One final thought here. Just about every bit of info available on recycling seems to mention (at least) the three “R”s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Others have taken to this and added additional “R” words such as Replace, Reform, Refuse and so on. All of which are important but seems to me one of the most critical “R” words of all here has to be RE-THINK.

Tom Isaacson