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Teenage Diver Finds Tons Of Golf Balls Rotting Off California
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Aired 2 months ago 7:54
A Small Plastic Package Is A Big Culprit Of The Waste Filling Oceans
...thathappen.Christopher Joyce NPR For years. The oceans were filling up with plastic waste, but people couldn't figure out where it was coming from then research in two thousand fifteen showed that over half the waste was from a handful of Asian nations. NPR's Christopher Joyce went one of these countries. The Philippines and found that a big culprit is a small plastic package used to sell consumer goods. It's called a sachet. To see how sachets worked their way into the fabric of Filipino light. Visit the neighborhood of my ceelo in the capital city of Manila. It's next to a swamp. Kids run between tin roofs shanties that hover a few feet above ankle deep water. Sorry. Sorry, sir. He is a middle. Aged woman who sells sachets from sari sari store a tiny storefront in her tiny home. Think of it like a neighborhood pantry filled with shiny little packages. Like, the ones ketchup comes in the past two restaurants. Wow, cage these. Yup. South people use every day. By more leave and fund issue. There are more than a million sari sari stores across the Philippines. My lobby says this is how everyone here's shops. I see. I don't I don't know. I sell sachets to people they come back here every day and by these small amounts because that's what they can afford. But once it's empty, the sachet never goes away. You can see that by looking down underneath this elevated shantytown. You can't tell where the water ends in the land begins because it's all covered in shiny, plastic, and it drives nymph Amman lobby crazy. I keep sweeping every day. Then the next day. I see the trashes back just thrown on the ground again, so employed waste pickers do collect and sell stuff that can be recycled sachets cannot. So no one picks them up. My lobby says her neighbors resort to burning them to cook their meals or just to get rid of them. It wasn't always this way. Shurmur bonanza is with an environmental group called guy. And she says it used to be that people brought refillable glass or ceramic containers to the sari sari store. Kid that when you go to the story, and you can afford the one Butto vinegar, you have a container read you and and give them to the saleslady and the put whatever amount you're asking by. So there's a problem only when we had plastic things became problematic. So where did all this plastic come from Wilmots, go back to the nineteen forty Tupperware airtight containers that keep good foods? Fresher plastic for consumers was growing in popularity. Manufacturers raced to find ways to fashion it into things. People would buy plastic was lightweight inexpensive flexible food stored in Baggies. Plastic bags always have the sound of freshness and much of it could not be recycled and people in the industry knew that at the first national conference on packaging waste held in San Francisco in nineteen sixty nine some executives wondered where is all this plastic going. To end up when marketing consultant said that wasn't there problem difficulties with plastic waste, quote are not the responsibility of those who produce materials fabricate packages or packaged goods, unquote, rather, he said, it's the consumer's responsibility. So manufacturers just urged people not to litter and kept pumping out new kinds of plastic with yet more uses. Then in the nineteen eighties at Indian businessman started marketing products in single use sachets days worth of shampoo for people who couldn't afford big bottles of it sachets were aimed at the poor. But eventually they became a symbol for a middle class lifestyle. Jasmine champ active double conditionals, much mothering, Monday guy, you netminder. Global companies followed suit, it was also great marketing, although single use packets each with a brand and a logo sachets did offer some advantages for consumers you have the health issue. Crispy and Lau is a former plastics executive. He now leads the Philippine alliance for recycling and materials sustainability, it includes companies that make in package consumer goods such as Nestle Coca Cola and Unilever the get needed something to deliver those those products to the consumers safety, and that these weird single use packaging came in you now have disposable cups. Disposable bulls. Disposable plates. Laos says sachets offered quality control. You knew what you were getting you didn't have to wash reusable containers, which could be risky in poor neighborhoods where water quality is often suspect. Today fashion as are everywhere in poor neighborhoods like my ceelo, but also in places like this. San Fernando a thriving business community north of Manila. In a gated suburb for private team of workers wheels carts through the city every day calling for trash. San Fernando has lots of money for trash collection, but it still stuck with shades. Plastic cannot be recycled Furlan grata is with the environmental group mother earth foundation. He shows me a pile of this stuff in a damp concrete room in the center of town, this one the next one is thank you. So the cop that you typically gets from a fast food chains like McDonald's the cop looks like it's made from paper. The problem of this one is at promoted as a better alternative because it's paper Cup. But it has a plastic liner inside recycling. Something like this mixed paper and plastic is expensive and requires technology. They don't have in the Philippines. So this entire thing, including the straw that. They use goes into the landfill. So if people in the Philippines, can't get rid of this stuff who should grotto says the companies that make it an angry because those who. Have the power those who have the resources, and I'm talking about companies earning billions of dollars to actually do the right thing are washing their hands and saying you use it. That's your problem. So that is where the frustration is coming from. Numerous companies Unilever Coca Cola Nestle and others have pledged that by twenty twenty-five, they'll use only plastic packaging that can be reused recycled or composted. In fact, Unilever has a new chemical process to recycle session as and a pilot plant in Indonesia to test it in the Philippines, Krisztian Laos industry group is planning a research effort to make more plastic recyclable, the idea right now is that how can we know, you know, together with the global partnership redesigned the product. So it becomes more recyclable look at recycling. The existing products that are there because he's not going to disappear overnight. Von Hernandez is skeptical. Hernandez is the global coordinator for a group called break free from plastic working in an office here in Manila, his view is consumers shouldn't have to recycle their way out of this mess, if we cannot recycle or compass this material then you should not be producing. Them in the first place. It should not be deploying them into commerce both activists and the brand say they want the same thing less plastic trash, but they're still far apart on how and when to make that happen. Christopher Joyce NPR...
Aired 4 months ago 3:51
Megafires More Frequent Because Of Climate Change And Forest Management
...producedbeforeChristopher Joyce NPR Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from internet essentials from Comcast. Connecting more than six million low income people to low cost high speed internet at home. So students are ready for homework class graduation and more. Now, they're ready for anything fire in California is just part of the natural order force. There have always burned. But scientists say the way people manage for us on top of a changing climate has created an environment in which big fires thrive. NPR's? Christopher Joyce reports on what's driving these mega fires as the fires in California spread last week. President Donald Trump blamed poor management of forests by the state yesterday, California governor Jerry Brown hit back. He said, yes managing forest is one part of the solution. However, maisy all the forest in everyone. We can does not stop climate change. And those who deny that are definitely contributing. To the tragedies that were now witnessing and we'll continue to witness fire experts agree in California. The average temperature has risen at least one degree Fahrenheit since the middle of the last century in some places even more than that in a dry climate. It's a simple equation more heat equals more drying. Hot dry air, literally sucks. The moisture out of the ground and out of vegetation. Just a little bit of drying. You get a substantial increase in the amount of burning. Jennifer Baulch is a fiery colleges at the university of Colorado. She studied fire in the Amazon as well as the American west in the west recent years of severe drought have brought more big fires. But it started decades ago, but the trend has been is that we've seen the number of large fires increased fivefold. She's the nineteen seventies. The warming climate is also responsible for smaller snowpack in the California mountains, that's the source of much of the state's water less. Snowpack means drier conditions in many parts of the state. Eight and scientists recently found that a warming climate seems to be reducing the amount of fog that rolls in off the Pacific Ocean. Another cause for Dr education people's carelessness. Also can make things worse. Baulch notes that eighty four percent of the wildfires. In the last twenty years were started by people and people are putting themselves more at risk also has more and more people literally donating homes in the line of fair today. They're about one point eight million homes at high fire risk across the western US, so California and the west or caught between a changing climate as well as a growing population moving into those risky neighborhoods. Malcolm north is an ecologist with the US forest service. He says the dry, weather and strong. Winds means small fires are bigger now. And big fires become monsters, the kind that both damaged trees and climb up into the tree canopy and kill whole forests. And it's relentless in much of California. We're getting to a pretty much of a year. Fire season as in the past. It used to be limited to more like five or six months out of the year north of notes that forest managers spent the last century putting out every fire. They could without small natural fires for a skit choked with too many trees now, ready, burn, federal and state managers. Can't Indu thin out for us either by cutting some of the trees or burning some of the overgrown areas, but steep slopes protected wildlife or complaints from homeowners about smoke limits where they can do that. So north says the forests are still tinderbox literally probably eighty to ninety percent of the dry. Mid elevations for us are chock full of fuels debt, really drives high intensity. Fire the kinds of fire that nature rarely ever produced before Christopher Joyce NPR...
Aired 2 months ago 2:49
Teenage Diver Finds Tons Of Golf Balls Rotting Off California
...beacceptable.Christopher Joyce NPR This message comes from NPR sponsor. Comcast business. Business has always been driven by innovators. That's why Comcast business is helping you with technology that provides better experiences. Comcast business beyond fast. Actual speeds. Vary and are not guaranteed divers and California have stumbled on an unexpected source of plastic waste in the ocean golf balls that come from coastal golf courses golf balls contain plastic and can emit toxic chemicals, and is NPR's Christopher Joyce reports. There are lots of them underwater something discovered by a sixteen year old divert named Alex Weber. My dad raised me underwater, Alex Weber is a free diver. She just holds her breath in two thousand sixteen near Carmel, California. She and her father were diving in the Pacific just offshore from a golf course. She looked down. And saw something weird. You couldn't see the fan. It was completely white golf balls. You look down and you're. Like, what are you doing here? Thousands of golf balls. It felt like a shot to the heart. She was offended. She decided she'd haul them up she put them in her family's garage. I had only other night garage, and they dunked and I had no idea. Why? Then she heard about a scientist who studied the plastic waste in the ocean. His name was Matt so voca from Stanford University. She emailed him. He came to look at her collection fifty thousand golf balls just sitting in the garage. He said, I should write a paper about this. And I was like that. I'm sixteen years old. I don't know how to read a scientific paper he said he'd hope that meant diving with her not easy the oceans off, California, actually, quite cold. And so you suit up in a pretty thick wet suit. It's incredibly physically demanding they took kayaks out to ferry the golf balls back. Well, have the kayak so-so plastic that will end up just having to tell the kayak back on. We'll have to swim to shore. We were out there. We would hear plink plink. And then we look up. On the hill. And there would be golf balls flying in off the course right into the ocean. Where we were doing some collections actually whenever we have good conditions were able to pull out between like five hundred to five thousand golf balls over two years. They found more than fifty thousand golf balls. The source five golf courses. Three were up the Carmel river, the Gulf balls just rolled underwater down to the ocean. In the journal marine pollution bulletin, the team says chemicals from fifty thousand or so golf balls will probably only have a small effect on the ocean. But they do degrade into micro plastic pieces that marine animals could eat Alex Weber says, if those golf balls floated people would be shocked if a person could see what we see underwater. It would not be acceptable. Christopher Joyce NPR...