garbage patches

The Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle

We’ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away? Here are the life cycles of three different plastic bottles.

Bottle One, like hundreds of millions of tons of its plastic brethren, ends up in a landfill. This huge dump expands each day, as more trash moves in and continues to take up space. 

As plastics sit there being compressed, rainwater flows through the waste and absorbs the water soluble compounds it contains, and some of those are highly toxic. Together they create a harmful stew called “leachate”, which can move into groundwater, soil, and streams, poisoning ecosystems and harming wildlife. It can take Bottle One an agonizing 1,000 years to decompose.

Bottle Two floats on a trickle that reaches a stream, a stream that flows into a river, and a river that reaches the ocean. After months lost at sea, it’s slowly drawn into a massive vortex, where trash accumulates - place known as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” This is one of five plastic filled gyres in the worlds seas. 

Some animals mistake the brightly colored plastic bits for food. Plastic makes them feel full when they’re not, so they starve to death, passing the toxins from the plastic up the food chain, eventually to us.

Bottle Three, on the other hand, is recycled. It’s taken away on a truck to a plant, where it and its companions are squeezed flat and compressed into a block. The blocks are shredded into tiny pieces, which are washed and melted, so they become the raw materials that can be used again. Bottle Three is ready to be reborn, as something new.

So, what can you do? First - reduce your use of plastic altogether! And when you do find yourself needing to buy a bottle, don’t forget to recycle it. You’ll be doing Planet Earth a great, big favor.

From the TED-Ed Lesson What really happens to the plastic you throw away - Emma Bryce

Animation by Sharon Colman Graham


Alolan Trubbish and Alolan Garbodor

Inspired by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I think when people hear “patch” they think it’s like an island, but really it’s a massive swirling vortex filled with trash.

Celebrate World Oceans Day with me!

Today, June 8, is World Oceans Day! The oceans, which cover close to three-fourths of our planet, are vitally important to life on Earth. They produce most of the oxygen in our atmosphere (close to 70 percent!) and form the base of food chains that carry onto land! But right now, our oceans are facing a pretty big threat, and it’s plastics.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Pacific Garbage Patch. Now, all that trash didn’t just get dumped in the middle of the ocean; most of it actually started outon land.

Like they said in Finding Nemo: All drains lead to the ocean, and that includes storm drains. As water flows down our streets, it often picks up whatever garbage is in its path, usually things like plastic water bottles or small packages. If the water passes into a treatment facility, these things get filtered out, but in many cases, that runoff gets dumped right into bays or oceans–and the trash goes along for the rise.

Much of the garbage is plastics, and the majority of plastics are made with petroleum. This means that they don’t really break DOWN, but rather break APART. These tiny pieces of plastic can look a lot like food to some small fish, and they may ingest them by mistake. To make matters worse, many of these plastics are made with a chemical called BPA, which is toxic when released.

I know I’m painting a pretty grim picture here, but there is good news! Because humans are the source of these plastics, we are also the solution. If we as individuals can reduce our use of plastics, we can make a difference. So join me this World Oceans Day by doing any or as many of the following as you are able:
  • use a reusable water bottle
  • use a reusable shopping bag, or purchase one if you don’t already have one
  • reuse a single use shopping bag, if you have one lying around
  • skip a straw in your drink (unless it’s a reusable straw)
  • consider what single-use plastics you use in your life, and think of ways you can replace them with reusable alternatives
  • pick up a piece of trash you see on the ground and throw it away
  • tell someone what I’ve told you in this post, either in person or through social media
Remember, a healthy ocean starts here on land! You can make a difference, today and every day!

Happy World Oceans Day!

7 Underwater Facts for World Oceans Day

Today is World Oceans Day, a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. Together, let’s honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans!

1. While the Earth’s oceans are known as five separate entities, there is really only one ocean.

2. The ocean contains upwards of 99% of the world’s biosphere, that is, the spaces and places where life exists.

Both above GIFs are from the TED-Ed Lesson How big is the ocean? - Scott Gass

Animation by 20 steps

3. Jellyfish are soft because they are 95% water and are mostly made of a translucent gel-like substance called mesoglea. With such delicate bodies, jellyfish rely on thousands of venom-containing stinging cells called cnidocytes for protection and prey capture.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How does a jellyfish sting? - Neosha S Kashef

Animation by Cinematic

4. Plastics & litter that make their way into our oceans are swiftly carried by currents, ultimately winding up in huge circulating ocean systems called gyres. The earth has five gyres that act as gathering points, but the largest of all is known as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ and has grown so immense that the oceanic garbage patch can shift from around the size of Texas, to something the size of the United States. 

From the TED-Ed Lesson The nurdles’ quest for ocean domination - Kim Preshoff

Animation by Reflective Films

5. The 200 or so species of octopuses are mollusks belonging to the order Cephalopoda, Greek for ‘head-feet’. Those heads contain impressively large brains, with a brain to body ratio similar to that of other intelligent animals, and a complex nervous system with about as many neurons as that of a dog.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why the octopus brain is so extraordinary - Cláudio L. Guerra

Animation by Cinematic

6. Some lucky animals are naturally endowed with bioluminescence, or the ability to create light. The firefly, the anglerfish, and a few more surprising creatures use this ability in many ways, including survival, hunting, and mating.

From the TED-Ed Lesson The brilliance of bioluminescence - Leslie Kenna

Animation by Cinematic

7. Sea turtles ultimately grow from the size of a dinner plate to that of a dinner table. In the case of the leatherback sea turtle, this can take up to a decade. Happy World Turtle Day!

From the TED-Ed Lesson The survival of the sea turtle - Scott Gass

Animation by Cinematic Sweden

anonymous asked:

Tumblrs mobile patch notes make me want to kms, imagine being so incompetent that instead of telling people what you changed or even generalizing what you did, you instead put stuoid meaningless garbage

Patch notes:


  • We are aware of several bugs.


  • The Force is with you
  • the cake is a lie
  • epic win
  • leeroy jenkins
Earth is Dying - and it's Our Fault.

I need to fully develop my conservation blog and post things like this there. But here’s the deal.

We are in the midst of the planet’s sixth mass extinction.

These are incredibly rare, and yes, it is what you think it is - when hundreds, thousands of species go extinct within a short period of time. But if it’s happened before, why is this one so bad?

Because the five before this have been due to completely natural causes. The warming or cooling of the planet, volcano eruptions, floods, droughts…

But this time, HUMANS are the primary problem. That’s right, us. You and I.

Sure, we are not the only reason for species going extinct, but everything we do harms the environment. Our hunger for expansion and a higher standard of living has caused us to keep destroying nature just so we can build on it.

So, habitat destruction is a HUGE problem. Along with littering, overpopulation, overusage of water, fragmentation, and carbon emissions (which contribute to global warming). We are invading and destroying rainforests - even the protected biodiversity hotspots are difficult to preserve - and disaster falls.

We are wiping out keystone species, plants and animals that could trigger the collapse of an entire ecosystem because they’re so important. We are losing species of plants that may have undiscovered medicinal value (like a cure for cancer).

Species are disappearing faster than we can blink. What will we do when the bees are gone? The sea turtles, the sharks? What happens when you wake up in the morning and the birds aren’t singing, what happens when you go to the beach and instead of clean sand and rocks, it’s filled with litter and trash?

So, yes. We are destroying our planet and ensuring the downfall of both us and future generations.

So how can we stop this?
1.) Conserve resources. The lower the demand is for products, the less people will go out and harvest them. Try and save water, drive less (public transportation may be a better option for example), save electricity by turning lights off. The littlest things can help.

2.) Don’t litter. This should be easy. But apparently, people haven’t been getting the message. Those garbage patches in the ocean can’t just be cleaned up.

3.) RECYCLE!! This is so important, and so easy! I’m astonished at the amount of people I know who don’t recycle. Please encourage everyone you know to participate, too.

4.) Educate. We have the world at our fingertips. Visit the IUCN red list, which documents all species of animals, and names their status. Look at other websites. Learn. Teach people. Let them know what’s happening.

5.) Donate. This can be the hardest to do because, well - money is hard to come by. But I urge you all to send this money to a good cause. There are soooo many environmental and conservation groups out there to donate to. Your money will be well spent. Just make sure you research each project before donating to ensure it’s not a scam.

Thank you for listening - and I urge you all to speak up about this. We need this planet. It doesn’t need us.


Important message from Mermaid Kelly: Ariel is swimming by to encourage you to help protect her home. Even though she collects human “treasures”, other sea creatures and marine life become injured or even die because of human trash, including thousands of sea turtles, whales, and over one million seabirds each year. All of this trash can harm & entangle fish, sharks, and damages coral reefs. In the Pacific Ocean there is even a huge area called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” This is a large area filled with debris, approximately the size of Texas. The debris extend down 20 feet & contains 3.5 million tons of garbage. It is estimated to double size in the next 5 years. A marine biologist & ocean activist, Sylvia A. Earle once stated “If the ocean dies, we die.” Without the ocean, we can’t survive. Around 50% of the oxygen we breath comes from phytoplankton in the ocean. Many Ocean Activists have already taken action to preserve these creatures and our home, now it’s your turn! You can start taking the steps to helping all of the life in the ocean by using fewer plastic products, recycling, doing local beach/ river clean ups, support local organizations working to protect the ocean, influence change in your local community, but most importantly, educate yourself on the ocean & how to protect it.
This video is also up on my Mermaid Kelly YouTube channel as well! Feel free to share the message and video~
YouTube link:


Sea Soup: Mandy Barker’s Photo Collages of Ocean Trash

Scientists have informally dubbed the discarded human waste accumulating in our oceans with a number of names: “soup,” “trash vortex,” and most nobly, the “Great Pacific garbage patch.” The last term makes particular reference to the exceptionally high relative concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre, one of the five major oceanic gyres on the planet. Gyres, large systems of rotating ocean currents, are the largest ecosystems in the world and, more recently, ground zero for massive accretions of plastic trash. In researching this phenomenon, UK photographer Mandy Barker developed a series of images entitled ‘Soup’ which depicts these plastics and discarded items salvaged from beaches around the world. Presented in beautifully precise, color-coded arrangements, the collected objects appear as a taxonomy of unique species in a toxic “ecosystem.” The images also underscore the longevity of even the tiniest pieces of trash: though haphazardly discarded and forgotten, they form an ever-growing environmental issue. Barker’s project, by bringing a seemingly remote subject into clear view, compels us to address this elephant in the room.

Plastic-munching caterpillars discovered that could eat billions of kilograms of waste

Federica Bertocchini, a scientist at the University of Cantabria in Spain and amateur beekeeper, made the discovery while tending her beehives. Wax caterpillars are bred for fishing bait but they are also a pest in beehives, where they chew through the wax honeycomb. Bertocchini put the caterpillars in a supermarket plastic bag made of polyethylene as she picked them out of the hives. Less than an hour later, the bag was riddled with holes.

Bertocchini brought the caterpillars into the lab to investigate what they were doing to the bags. Working with scientists at the University of Cambridge in the UK, she found that the caterpillars weren’t just chewing holes – they were eating the plastic and breaking it down into another compound.

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A hundred caterpillars munched through 92 mg of plastic in about 12 hours, leaving the lightweight bag in tatters. They broke the plastic down into ethylene glycol, which is used as an antifreeze. The research is published in a paper in the journal Current Biology.

“There is a chemical transformation of the polymer – this is telling us it’s something more than the mechanical action of the caterpillar munching,” Paolo Bombelli of the University of Cambridge and an author of the study told IBTimes UK.

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The wax caterpillar is the only known insect to be able to break down polyethylene in this way. Exactly how the caterpillar is doing so is less clear. It could be the caterpillar itself, or bacteria living in its gut. The scientists also mushed up the caterpillars and spread the goo onto plastic shopping bags, to see if it still broke it down to the antifreeze compound. The caterpillar mush still worked, but not as efficiently as the living caterpillars.

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“We were excited to see that the mush was in any way able to still degrade the plastic,” Bombelli said. “This is telling us that probably there is some enzyme activity breaking down the polyethylene.

"This is great because we really hope to identify the enzyme. If we did that, then we could express this enzyme in other organisms, such as yeast or the bacterium E. coli, and use them on an industrial scale.”

Yeast or bacteria might be more efficient at breaking down the plastic than caterpillars on a large scale, but it’s possible that caterpillars themselves could be used to break it down. However, ethylene glycol is toxic to species including humans, so letting wax worms loose in a landfill may not be a good solution. But the wax caterpillars appeared to be perfectly healthy after feeding on the plastic bags, and were able to turn into a moth.

There are several more stages of research needed before the caterpillar’s trick could be used to tackle the mountains of plastic that go to landfills every year.

“One of the main questions we’re trying to answer now is whether the plastic is degraded by the caterpillar itself, bacteria inside the caterpillar, or a combination of the two.”

A trillion plastic bags are used every year. Polyethylene makes up about 92% of all plastic produced. An organism that can break it down and apparently remain unharmed may have the potential to revolutionise how plastic is thrown away. At the moment, billions of kilograms of plastic ends up in the ocean, where it collects toxins and is eaten by wildlife.

Bombelli warns against being complacent about recycling and cutting back on use of plastic in the wake of the discovery.

“We definitely don’t want to give the impression that if this research is successful that people can justify creating more plastic waste. Our aim is to provide a tool that might be able to contribute to sorting out the problem of plastic waste.”

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‘Blinded’ by Hallucinations ~ The Scopolamine Theory

There’s this shot of Sherlock like seeming to conduct an orchestra while looking very out of it,

It almost looks like he’s reacting to being struck by some invisible force.

Well, we also have John hitting him.  It’s the same setting but the look/colouration of the scenes is very different,

So, what if these very washed out, light-coloured scenes are actual reality, one that Sherlock is clearly not in touch with?  What if the blue scenes are hallucinations?  So, that means that these two things could be THE SAME THING.  

The first image is how Sherlock might look to anyone actually watching him.  The second image is what he thinks is happening.

I was thinking that Sherlock looks very, very drugged up in the top image.  Like on some type of deliriant like belladonna, or jimson weed, maybe, because his eyes look so flat like he’s looking at something else.

A deliriant can a person to have strong hallucinations that interfere with the proper perception of reality.  Like basically, a deliriant can cause extremely vivid true hallucinations and also anxiety, especially if administered and experienced in a hostile environment, like if one were forcibly drugged by someone.  So it’s not that he can’t see, it’s that most of what he sees is fabricated by his mind, but like not all, the setting is correct but what’s going on is a hallucination.  Now this isn’t a proper type of blindness where the person truly can’t see, it’s just they’re seeing things that aren’t there and can’t perceive what is there.

The use of a truth serum has been discussed here by @sussexbound and others and I was thinking, what if it’s both?  A truth serum and a deliriant.  Could that be?  Well, apparently, yes.

There’s a truth serum that’s been used in the U.S.A. that’s called, ‘scopolamine’, and it is derived from belladonna, which is a deliriant.  It can cause fast heartbeat, hallucinations, and a host of other unpleasant side effects.  

Remember there’s a U.S. connection to the bad guys in ASiB and possibly to Mary, especially if she’s Birdie Edwards as @finalproblem and others have posited.  Also because in HLV Sherlock says her real accent in not English. 

Scopolamine can administered in patches.  Patches like the nicotine patches that Sherlock uses.  We see him wear three nicotine patches because it helps him to think in ASiP and he also uses them in TSoT during the best man speech presumably so he can cope with the stress of the wedding.  Well, maybe someone here is making a reference to this and giving him three patches of truth serum and watching him totally meltdown into a hellishly intense introspective nightmare.  This could be a three patch problem on a whole new level.  

Additionally, scopolamine was proven, in 2009, to have been used by Czechoslovak communist state security secret police.  Today we have a new trailer that was exclusively released in Czech Republic.  While in TGG the whole case with the fake Vermeer had a, ‘decidedly Czech feeling to it’.  Mary’s file in Magnussen’s mind palace shows she has probably worked as an agent in Eastern Europe.  

So, scopolamine has a possible American connection, a possible Czech connection, could lead to frightening hallucinations impairing a person’s ability to see what’s really in front of them.  It is also used as a truth serum in interrogations and can be administered in patches.  All of this could account for the scenes where Sherlock seems to be reacting to invisible forces and could explain why some scenes appear to be in the same setting but have a very different look.

Thank you for @here-comes-samta-claus for pointing out the Czech trailer might be a clue in and of itself.  

One thing that really pisses me off is plastic tampon applicators.
Like maybe some people have a certain reason for NEEDING to use them, and that is cool I can understand that BUT 
When I go to the tampon section at a store and see 500 boxes of plastic applicator tampons and 5 boxes of biodegradable cardboard applicators it really bothers me.
A plastic milk jug takes 1 million years to decompose.  For plastic bags ( and probably tampons applicators) it takes up to 450 years + !!
You use that shit once, throw it away, if lucky it makes it to the actual dump (cause I know y’all ain’t recycling used tampon applicators,) 
if not lucky it ends up in the ocean and lodged in a sea turtle’s fucking throat.
Turtle dies from slow horrible death, sea creatures eat the dead turtle, annnnd the plastic is back and ready to terrorize the sea again. Plastic garbage in the ocean kills as many as 1 million sea creatures every year. 
I do not understand why we do not have a bigger anti-plastic movement. 
Plastic is fucking terrible. Plastic bags are terrible. Plastic wrap is shit. Plastic tampon applicators are evil. Plastic straws are even awful. Plastic bottles are fucking unnecessary. “Let me wrap 24 plastic containers in plastic shit!”
The plastic we know today was not even invented until pretty recently, and plastic bags where not even a thing til the 50s!
We are slaves to plastic. 
We depend on plastic.
Plastic corporations own our souls. 
Nearly every piece of plastic that was ever produced and was not recycled still exists.
There is not a big enough anti-plastic movement and that shit needs to change. Obviously we can not cut out every single plastic item, but if you are more conscious of your plastic usage and reducing it, it will severely impact the amount of plastic at the great garbage patch and inside our fuzzy, scaley, feathery pals.