Friday, February 3, 2012

do you flick a bic? - NO MORE FLICKING! | plastics

"The BIC® Lighter is recognized as a worldwide leader in producing a safe, reliable flame for millions of consumers every day. In more than 160 countries around the world, BIC has sold more than 15 billion lighters."

Each day, BIC produces more than 5 million lighters worldwide.

bics & other "convenient" plastics kill - don't flick them!

photo by Chris Jordan
Midway: Message from the Gyre

On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.

For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.

Chris Jordan is an internationally acclaimed artist and cultural activist based in Seattle. His work explores contemporary mass culture from a variety of photographic and conceptual perspectives, connecting the viewer viscerally to the enormity and power of humanity’s collective will. Edge-walking the lines between art and activism, beauty and horror, abstraction and representation, the near and the far, the visible and the invisible, his work asks us to consider our own multi-layered roles in becoming more conscious stewards of our complex and embattled world. Jordan’s works are exhibited and published worldwide.

alternatives to flicking a bic

use matches! - zippos & lighter fluid, or at least refillable butane lighters

more on plastics

Plastic Pollution Coalition

Disposable plastics are the greatest source of plastic pollution. Plastic bags, straws, bottles, utensils, lids, cups and so many others offer a small convenience but remain forever. REFUSE disposable plastics! Follow the “4 Rs” of sustainable living: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Coastal Issues / Coastal Care


Nurdles covered beach. Photo Source: Algalita Foundation

By Claire Le Guern Lytle

The world population is living, working, vacationing, increasingly conglomerating along the coasts, and standing on the front row of the greatest, most unprecedented, plastic waste tide ever faced.

Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land.

In 2008, our global plastic consumption worldwide has been estimated at 260 million tons. Plastic is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. Those are the attractive qualities that lead us, around the world, to such a voracious appetite and over-consumption of plastic goods. However, durable and very slow to degrade, plastic materials that are used in the production of so many products all, ultimately, become waste with staying power. Our tremendous attraction to plastic, coupled with an undeniable behavioral propensity of increasingly over-consuming, discarding, littering and thus polluting, has become a combination of lethal nature...

more > Plastic Pollution | Coastal Care

AMRF Blog - Marine Plastic Covers Earth…Magazine

Ocean plastics made the cover of the February issue! And inside? An eight-page feature on the science of tracking plastic summarizes the most prominent marine debris research projects to date. Algalita gets first mention for Captain Charles Moore’s pioneering expeditions, plastic to plankton calculations and work raising awareness about plastic in the Pacific.

Author Barry E. DiGregorio provides an accessible and well-illustrated introduction to some of the field-defining scientific questions that Algalita and others are working hard to address: How much plastic is in the ocean? How long does it take for plastic to degrade at sea? What impact is it having on marine life?

Algalita Marine Research Foundation - Marine Research, Education and Restoration

Adverse Health Effects of Plastics | Fact Sheets | Ecology Center

In addition to creating safety problems during production, many chemical additives that give plastic products desirable performance properties also have negative environmental and human health effects. These effects include

• Direct toxicity, as in the cases of lead, cadmium, and mercury
• Carcinogens, as in the case of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)
• Endocrine disruption, which can lead to cancers, birth defects, immune system supression and developmental problems in children.

People are exposed to these chemicals not only during manufacturing, but also by using plastic packages, because some chemicals migrate from the plastic packaging to the foods they contain. Examples of plastics contaminating food have been reported with most plastic types, including Styrene from polystyrene, plasticizers from PVC, antioxidants from polyethylene, and Acetaldehyde from PET.

Among the factors controlling migration are the chemical structure of the migrants and the nature of the packaged food. In studies cited in Food Additives and Contaminants, LDPE, HDPE, and polypropylene bottles released measurable levels of BHT, Chimassorb 81, Irganox PS 800, Irganix 1076, and Irganox 1010 into their contents of vegetable oil and ethanol. Evidence was also found that acetaldehyde migrated out of PET and into water.

Find alternatives to plastic products whenever possible. Some specific suggestions:
• Buy food in glass or metal containers; avoid polycarbonate drinking bottles with Bisphenol A
• Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap.
• Do not give young children plastic teethers or toys
• Use natural fiber clothing, bedding and furniture
• Avoid all PVC and Styrene products

see also

what next: plastic

what next: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch | 5 Gyres

what next: Plastic Soup - Pacific Garbage Dump

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