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Plastic, Plastic Everywhere

Rudi Dundas | Long Island, Outer Islands, Bahamas

The beach at Dean's Blue Hole on Long Island in the Southern Bahamas. 500 ml plastic drinking water sachets from Haiti litter the beach. The bags look like jellyfish when floating in the water, and are consumed by marine life, particularly sea turtles.

I am at Dean’s Blue Hole, at 663 feet the deepest salt-water blue hole in the world, in the southern Bahamas, where I have been coming for 20 years. As I enter, I see hundreds of small plastic bags that look like jellyfish.

Cruise Ships? No, on closer examination I see that they are from Haiti. X-tra drinking water with an address in Cap-Haitien. Cascade, L and C Pur Water are among the ones I can still read. Looking at the other plastic trash, I see that most of it is coming from Haiti. They are water sachets brought in for emergency drinking water after the earthquake and hurricanes. But no plans were made for their recycling. They now fill the Atlantic Ocean and beaches here.

They are made of HDPE plastic, high-density polyethylene, a non-biodegradable problem for landfills and ocean life. Research has shown that these plastic bags, which resemble jellyfish, are particularly lethal to sea turtles and other marine life.

We must find a solution before we poison the well.
 

I shot these images with my iPhone 6.  It was the best camera to use, because it was the one I had with me.

Haiti's problem with plastic bags: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/15/haiti-police-raid-plastics-ban-crackdown
Recycling plans: http://inthesetimes.com/article/3960/engineering_students_talk_trash
And https://wiki.umn.edu/pub/EWB/Haiti/Keen_Updated.pdf
And https://wiki.umn.edu/pub/EWB/Haiti/Haiti.pdf

1. Ghana: In Ghana, several tons of used plastic water sachets are discarded indiscriminately EVERY DAY: http://www.academia.edu/8484704/RECYCLING_USED_PURE_WATER_SACHETS_AND_THEIR_BLENDS_WITH_WASTE_COCONUT_SHELLS_AS_CARBON_RESOURCES_IN_IRON_MAKING-Dankwah_J.R
2. Plastic bags banned in Ghana: http://opinion.myjoyonline.com/pages/feature/201206/88817.php

Ghana: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1976297/#!po=78.1250
And: http://thirstyturtlesblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/sarahs-experience-water-sachets-in-ghana/

rudi@rudidundas.com

www.rudidundas.com

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