Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Environmentality 1 August 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Smokey and Jaime were joined by the newly recruited Yolande to interview Tim Silverwood, co-founder of the wonderful 'Take 3 - A Clean Beach' initiative.  Tim shared his knowledge about plastic rubbish and debris in the ocean and beaches and what we can all do to help.

Tim Silverwood, image courtesy of Take 3

Take 3 is a simple but highly effective concept.  Each time you visit the beach, you pick up and take away with you three pieces of rubbish!  This concept can be applied to water ways or any other location.  Take 3 also encourages people to reduce their consumption of plastic. Go to

Tim has travelled himself through the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch', one of five such areas in the world where debris and rubbish is collected due to the movement of currents in the ocean.  The size of the Pacific patch is estimated at either 700,000 sq km or more than 15 million square km (there is no standard measure of pollution in the ocean, hence the large difference in size estimate). Tim described these areas as having many small pieces of floating plastic, pollution which is incredibly damaging to ocean wildlife in such ways as ingestion, smothering and choking.

The chemicals being emitted through degrading plastics is a further hazard to marine birds and animals.  It is already known that many plastic chemicals significantly threaten human health, as in the instance of Bisphenol A (BPA) being linked to disturbances in the endocrine system. Thus it can only be expected that these chemicals are negatively impacting the health of ocean wildlife, and likewise humans through the consumption of affected seafood in the food chain.

Kamilo Beach in Hawaii, image courtesy of Take 3

There is more that you can do!  To start with, we all need to be aware of the ways in which we needlessly use plastic, as in the case of purchasing expensive bottles of water rather than remembering to bring our re-usable drink bottles. Tim is also advocating that the whole of Australia uses a container deposit system to improve our rate of recycling beverage containers.  You can find an online letter you can send to the Premier of your State here:

You may have taken a liking to some of the groovy music featured on the show.  We played:

Esquirrel - Chant to the Night
Toro Y Moi - Chi Chi, New Beat
The Field Mice - If you Need Someone
Caribou - Sundialing
Confetti - It's Kinda Funny
The Beach Boys - Barbara - Ann

Listen to the show!

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