Oceans Begin Here, Within Our Walls
It is urgent to change our ways of life on dry land,
if we want to save the oceans that condition our survival.
Man is a sorcerer's apprentice who plays with the boundaries of reality, creating materials without thinking about the consequences, to meet his desires for ever more.
Anthropocene and Plasticene
Since the beginning of the 20th century, we have been witnessing the birth of a new geological epoch, which succeeds the Holocene, and attributable to human activity: man has created materials which do not exist in nature, such as concrete, titanium, aluminum or plastic, all materials that will be found in future geological strata.
The age of plastic, known as plasticene, is one of the symbols of the Anthropocene.
The ocean is a Climate change absorber as it absorbs 30% of CO2 emissions and 93% of temperature increase
It provides 50% of the oxygen we breathe thanks to the action of phytoplankton
And represents 99% of living species on earth, 1/5th of the animal protein we eat
Saving the Ocean is an emergency
Our plastic production has nearly doubled over the past two decades and is expected to more than triple by 2050
Since 1950; humanity has produced 12 Tons of plastic/second. Of the total plastic produced, 75% has become waste, of which 79% is in landfills or nature and only 9% is recycled
Our waste too
Humanity now annually produces solid plastic waste equivalent to 523 Trillion plastic straws, which put end to end could wrap around the world about 2.8 million times.
WWF Report 2021
Plastic is not bio-degradable
Plastic takes hundreds to thousands of years to fully degrade and as it degrades it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles whose exact fate we still don't know.
Plastic pollution is choking our oceans.
Much of the plastic that covers the earth will eventually end up in the oceans:
8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year, including 600,000 in the Mediterranean. That's the equivalent of one truckload of plastic garbage dumped every minute, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). And this amount could double by 2030, according to WWF forecasts.
The Mediterranean is the most polluted: 1% of global waters and 7% of microplastics on the planet, resulting from the fragmentation of this material
The 7th continent (the great pacific garbage patch)
In 1997, a gigantic concentration of plastic waste was discovered in the northeast Pacific, between California and the Hawaiian archipelago. This area is nicknamed “the seventh continent”. A surface three times the size of France made up of billions of microplastics, resulting from the fragmentation of this material. It would concentrate 80,000 tonnes of waste at 50% made up of nylon fishing nets.
Macro, micro and nano-plastics
Macro waste: >5mm
Nano-plastics, invisible to the eye, < thousandths of a mm
Mismanaged microplastics could rise from 4.4 million metric tons in 2016 to 10 million metric tons by 2040. they accumulate down to -30m depth
Primary Microplastics: exfoliating granules or detergents
Secondary microplastics: which come from fragmentation: tires and textiles (1 household detergent releases up to 700,000 polymer fibers into rivers and then the sea)
Tires, maximum pollutants:
They represent 78% of micro-plastic waste in the oceans
A tire loses an average of 4 kg during its life.
More than 200,000 tonnes of tiny plastic particles from the tires and brake pads of our vehicles are blown from the roads to the oceans every year.
Nature Communications July 14, 2020
Polystyrene, a global scourge
40% of the plastics found on our river banks are polystyrene (Tara Ocean)
50% of the plastic we use today is single-use. Phenomenon reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic
The most common single-use plastics found on beaches are, in ascending order, cigarette butts, plastic drink bottles, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, plastic bags for groceries, plastic lids, cotton swabs, straws and stirrers, and foam containers for take-out meals. (unep)
The first victims are animals: 100,000 mammals and a million seabirds die each year, trapped, suffocated and poisoned by this waste. Wwf
By 2050, an estimated 99% of seabirds will ingest plastic (UNEP)
Additives: ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS
Since polymerization reactions are often incomplete, toxic monomers can migrate outwards and contaminate living beings.
Each year: 23,000 tonnes of toxic substances are discharged into the sea through plastic waste. These foreign substances have adverse effects on the animal and, by extension, human hormonal system.
Thus endocrine disruptors are more involved than global warming in the disappearance of polar bears, which now have reproductive difficulties.
100% of terrestrial chemical pollution accumulates at sea (Tara Océan)
We eat plastic
By invading the oceans, plastic is getting everywhere, to the point that "by 2050, there will be as many fish as there is plastic in the ocean. This has terrible consequences for biodiversity, and it will affect our food “, warns Maria Fernanda Espinosa the president of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
We find micro-plastics in table salt, in fresh water, it is believed that every person on the planet has plastic in the body (NU). The risk is lower for the fish that we empty from their digestive system. , but molluscs and crustaceans are concerned, and represent 17% of the animal proteins consumed in the world
Every week we swallow 5 g of plastic, the equivalent of a bank card.
If the world vigorously applied and invested in all currently available technologies, management practices and policy approaches, including plastic reduction, recycling and substitution, in 20 years there would be an approximately 80% reduction from to the current trajectory of plastic flow in the ocean
awareness is urgent. Fab Rideti participates in his own way with a photographic work
Part of the profits from the sale of his works will be donated to the Tara Ocean Foundation.