r/Futurology ∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥ Sep 23 '22 Helpful 3 Wholesome 4 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 2 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1 Silver 3

A Dutch NGO that has cleaned up 1/1000th of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, says its technology can scale up to eliminate it completely. Environment

https://theoceancleanup.com/updates/first-100000-kg-removed-from-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch/
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u/lamarjacksonMVP2020 Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Surprisingly the NGO says it thinks 80% of the plastic in the GPGP comes from fishing

Who is surprised by this? We’ve known for years that the industrial fishing companies are the ones at fault for a vast majority of the garbage in the ocean GPGP.

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u/JJayxi Sep 23 '22

Government banning plastic straws and subsidizing fishing "yeah, we're doing our utmost best to reduce the plastic in the ocean"

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u/lamarjacksonMVP2020 Sep 23 '22

It’s all PR and boy do people eat it up. There was a good period of time in the last year or 2 where people would get loudly attacked if they dared to use a plastic straw. The government tricked everyone into thinking we were the problem.

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u/drewbreeezy Sep 23 '22

It's very rare I use straws and man does this interaction still annoy me - waiter puts down water and asks "Would you like a straw or would you like to save the environment?"

Bitch I don't need a straw, but I also won't lie to myself that it's making any meaningful difference. The annoyance sticks around because of how easily people allow themselves to be fooled.

Love the comedy skit on it - https://youtu.be/0sJkhhZWkWo

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u/ineververify Sep 23 '22

isn't the point of this effort to be like hey if I can make due without a plastic straw I probably shouldn't buy this massive unicorn inflatable toy my kids will play with once and pop.

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u/drewbreeezy Sep 23 '22

Is it?

Considering it's the first time I've heard this that message must have got lost every time before, lol. No company is going to advocate for less purchases, but not having to give a free item is just good business.

I could see yours being the message spread around certain limited circles like the environment sub.

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u/ineververify Sep 23 '22

Straws and plastic bags is a push to make us more aware of our plastic consumption. I always make that point when the straw issue is joked about. This mentality is slowly being adopted out side of the circles you are talking about. But is it far reaching enough so the next manufactures decides to not order the 20 pallets of plastic pellets to make the next terrible retail item. who knows. The point is we can all do better regardless if our impact is even just a single straw.

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u/drewbreeezy Sep 23 '22

Ah, but you're mixing up two different concepts.

The companies having to provide the item for free were happy to jump on board. The company making the straws were not. The company that "order the 20 pallets of plastic pellets to make the next terrible retail item" will still want to do that. The company giving away free plastic bags will be happy not to do that anymore. They instead transitioned to selling other bags increasing their profit.

The only changes that were pushed were ones that increased profits for themselves. The next useless item that makes money for the manufacturer and the retail store won't be fought against by any majority in the same way plastic straws were. Those fall back to the standard people who are doing what they already can personally.

I'm perfectly happy to do without straws, but no it doesn't make a difference to climate change.

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u/Arrivalofthevoid Sep 23 '22

The only changes that were pushed were ones that increased profits for themselves.

That called a win win situation, making profit by poluting less. Why is that bad ? It's probably the only way forward in the capitalist world. It's also why green energy competing with fossil is a major driver of change.

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u/iwontbeadick Sep 23 '22

Who has ever been attacked in any way for using a plastic straw?

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u/teutorix_aleria Sep 23 '22

Textbook greenwashing

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u/lamarjacksonMVP2020 Sep 23 '22

I’m all for doing things to help the environment and prevent global warming. This is just one of those things that rubbed me the wrong way as the gov tries to blame me for using a plastic straw while doing nothing to stop the commercial fishing industry from ruining the seabed and dumping hundreds of millions of pounds of plastic and nets into the ocean.

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

Even this is PR. The solution to the dumping of garbage into the ocean is not to use heavily polluting vessels to remove all of it, but to stop the dumping.

Even the article plays coy and acts like the fact that they've removed a 1/1000th of the plastic means they can remove all of it, when they didn't even come close to the yearly amount of plastic being dumped into the ocean.

This thing is basically a way for you to give 5 dollars and then act like the problem is fixed.

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u/t0xic1ty Sep 23 '22

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u/lamarjacksonMVP2020 Sep 23 '22

Definitely meant to say the GPGP and got carried away and said ocean instead, my fault. I was surprised to read though that 10% of the entire oceans pollution does come from commercial fishing, more than I would have guessed considering they’re competing with countries with billions of people.

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u/suchahotmess Sep 24 '22

I think a large part of that is that so many fishing plastics seem to be effectively single use, and they go straight into the water when they’re discarded.

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u/t0xic1ty Sep 23 '22

Understandable, easy mistake to make. I just see people on reddit misapply this stat every time a GPGP story up, so I worry about it becoming a more common misconception.

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u/GorchestopherH Sep 23 '22

The surprise because we know we, in total, dump way more plastic than just industrial fishing is responsible for, and we expected to find more other garbage there.