Real environmentalism: Trump signs bill to save oceans from plastic trash

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Touting themselves as environmentalists, Obama and the Democrats had eight years to do it, but they didn’t — leaving the problem to grow into truly monstrous proportions.

But the GOP-majority Congress is doing something about it, and President Trump, reviled and trashed by environmentalists, is championing it.

What is it?

It’s the Save Our Seas Act, an important bill to rally the world to reduce marine debris, especially the over 8 million tons of plastic garbage dumped into our oceans. As Jacquie Kubin of Communities Digital News puts it:

The problem of plastic in our oceans has been left to fester to unmanageable effect. Saying that over eight millions tons of garbage, plastic, is dumped into our oceans, the President says Save our Seas is an effort to clean the plastic out. No other political leader, not in the U.S. or any other country, is willing to stand up for the oceans.

Kubin describes the problem:

  • Oceans cover more than 70% of our planet. It is what gives us life and Earth’s moniker “The Blue Planet”.
  • But human beings are choking the oceans with our plastic garbage, resulting in gigantic floating patches of marine debris in the Pacific Ocean — the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
  • About 80% of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from land-based activities in North America and Asia. Other sources of this trash are boaters, offshore oil rigs, and large cargo ships that dump or loose debris directly into the water.
  • 8 million metric tons of plastic find their ways into the oceans from just 10 rivers, 8 of them in Asia, according to a Scientific American article.
  • More than 2 million tons of single-use (use once and throw away) plastic soft drinks bottles are sold each year, only 6.6% of which are made from recycled materials. Those single-use plastic bottles are the most common type of plastic packaging found washed up on shorelines globally.
  • 79,000 tons of marine trash are fishing nets. Those nets and plastic caps and rings entrap marine life, like this duck and a humpback whale.

  • All those millions of tons of plastics swirling around in the oceans will take centuries to break down.
  • As the plastics break down, smaller particulates are ingested by sea and bird life, which in turn are ingested by humans. Scientists have collected up to 1.9 million bits of microplastic in one square mile of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Most of this debris comes from plastic bags, bottle caps, plastic water bottles, and Styrofoam cups.
  • According to the National Geographic, nearly every seabird on Earth is eating plastic or eating fish that have eaten plastic. A new study found that “So much plastic trash is flowing into the oceans that 90 percent of seabirds eat it now and virtually everyone will be consuming it by 2050.” Plastic found inside birds includes bags, bottle caps, synthetic fibers from clothing, and tiny rice-sized bits. The study’s lead author, Chris Wilcox, a research scientist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, said that the number of species and number of individuals within species that you find plastic in is rapidly increasing by a couple percent every year.

The plastic garbage in oceans is an international problem, and cannot be solved by any one country.

S. 3508 – Save Our Seas Act of 2018 was introduced on Sept. 26, 2018 by a Republican, Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, and co-sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and two Democrat senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Bill Nelson (FL). The bill:

  • Amends the Marine Debris Act to require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to work with: (1) other agencies to address both land- and sea-based sources of marine debris, and (2) the Department of State and other agencies to promote international action to reduce the incidence of marine debris.
  • Allows NOAA to make sums available for assisting in the cleanup and response required by severe marine debris events.
  • Urges the President to:
    • support funding for research and development of bio-based and other alternatives or environmentally feasible improvements to materials that reduce municipal solid waste;
    • work with foreign countries [China] that contribute the most to the global marine debris problem in order to find a solution to the problem;
    • study issues related to marine debris, including the economic impacts of marine debris; and
    • encourage the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to consider the impact of marine debris in relevant future trade agreements.
  • Reauthorizes for FY2018-FY2022: (1) the Marine Debris Program, (2) an information clearinghouse on marine debris, and (3) enforcement of laws about discarded marine debris from ships.

The Save Our Seas Act of 2018 was passed by the Senate on Sept. 26, 2018, and by the House of Representatives on September 27, 2018.

On October 11, 2018, President Donald John Trump signed the Save Our Seas Act into law.

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19 responses to “Real environmentalism: Trump signs bill to save oceans from plastic trash

  1. Sounds to me like this will only fund a bunch of STUDIES for a bunch of pretend-do-gooders. They won’t mean diddly squat to the worst polluters, e.g. China, India and third worlders. Why are ships allowed to dump their garbage into the ocean? Why is anyone allowed to? How do we stop them?

  2. I read that a kid had developed a bacteria that actually thrives on this stuff. I hope that’s true. It’s a real problem.

    As to “why ships dump at sea”, there is no jurisdiction that is responsible for it. I suppose they could have a treaty, but I don’t know who would patrol where. It’s a very big ocean.

    China and other parts of Asia are largely responsible. You won’t be seeing them lining up to help pay for cleanup, however.

  3. At least our President has the forethought to sign this type of legislation. I got to say. . . I really love that man!

  4. Our beloved JRR Tolkien was a true environmentalist. I can’t speak for him, but I think he would applaud President Trump’s action.

  5. Excellent work by Donald J. Trump

  6. Dan Sullivan is a Senator from ALASKA(Ak) not Arkansas(Ar).

    • You’re right, Marlin. I confused Rep. Dan Sullivan (Arkansas) with Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska).

      • I live in Alaska and didn’t realize there was a Senator Sullivan in Arkansas. My Dad used to say everyone should learn at least one thing new every day. Thank You for enlightening me, Dr. Eowyn.

  7. Sadly most of the problem is coming from a few countries that just don’t care. Making money is their total focus, paying fines or for clean ups will never happen.
    While living in Hawaii I walked the beach daily for years and picked up trash and left it in bags I took with me there. It was picked up by crews daily. I found massive amount of trash and garage from cruise ships and even brand new merchandise from container ships that lost loads. I even found new tires in their brown wrapping paper.
    Sadly not enough people are aware just how serious this problem is nor do they even care. I find the President making the first move on this a promising start.

    • This is a tough one, about uncontrolled garbage dumping st sea, but the attempts to curb it go back almost 50 years to MARPOL, the maritime pollution convention. We don’t get those huge slugs of tar blasted out the pipes of cargo ships washing up on beaches any longer due to TOVALOP, I believe, so the maritime industry is capable of enforcing strict international compliance on flag states, as it will have to soon enough regarding garbage if they don’t want the political radicals dictating the rules.

      The cruise operators claim their newer ships are now environmentally cleaner than land-based resorts, but most of us would have thought that should have been a given decades ago. These are bad actors whose responsibility was forced on them, who’re protected unseen by the political left, and deserving of zero support from conservatives.

      The bigger picture, of river-borne waste, I’d guess should be rectified by assessing the clean up costs on the producers of the plastic stuff choking the oceans. Responsibility for the external clean-up costs should fall on the makers and (possibly) users as a tax, which we cannot allow the left to use as a weapon in their war against humanity. And just offhand, aren’t the bottled water companies, the worst polluters, like Pepsi/Nestles, funding the leftist march running through our institutions like a lethal plague?

  8. HERE’S THE PROBLEM: Years ago—in the early 1970’s under Pres. Nixon—it had been agreed upon that incineration—burning garbage—had to go and should be replaced by LANDFILLS. As a result, the air is—or seems to be, if you disregard CHEMTRAILS—cleaner, but we’ve “built” just about all the landfills that can be built.

    So what’s a corporate polluter to do?

    Why—dump it in the OCEAN—that’s what!

    I’m glad President Trump is doing something. But let’s face it: The bureaucrats are STILL in charge here because this legislation he signed keeps the gravy train rolling for them: They don’t care if he’s President, because long after he’s gone, they’ll still have jobs, pencils to push.

    The REAL answer—especially after all the progress that has been made with filters and all the existing regulations which can be modified and regulated—is to bring back incineration. This way, the ashes—less than 10% of the original volume of the original volume—can be buried somewhere 1,000 feet deep.

    Kudos to Trump for the effort. But FILTERED INCINERATION is the real answer here. AND: Monsanto must be destroyed!!!

    • Excellent Steven, I agree, bring back incineration, at least we could use it for heat and or power. And getting rid of Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, BASF, etc would help us all. Monsanto is using paid civilians to protest to save their company that haven’t a clue as to what is what. Only the money in their pockets.

  9. I think it’s great Trump wants to save the oceans. Now how about saving the American people from the TSA? The National ID? Stopping all water fluoridation? 5G? Smartmeters? Chemtrails? And a host of other horrible things. Let’s keep in mind the quotes below.

    “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.” Attributed to Mark Twain (?)
    “Whenever the people need a hero we shall supply him.” – Albert Pike

    Keep praying for our God to help us. The evil is off the charts now.

  10. This is great news, but Trump’s Hadrian’s Wall & Immigration Moratorium will really lower US Globull Warming Green House Gases, lower pollution, and protect and preserve our open spaces & wildlife habitat. The so called “Environmentalists” are fakes and the movement has been hijacked

    • It’s funny how all of the pieces today seem to link. This too is the result of leftist non-thinking. Who said that sending money ensures success? Who has proven that there is even a problem (with regard to “climate change”)? Who said that “climate change (TM)”, isn’t absolutely normal?

      If it is man-caused (which hasn’t been established), how does one know it can be fixed? If it isn’t, why bother? As to the ocean pollution, that is something that CAN be addressed and I’m glad he is doing something about it.

      We made HUGE strides from the 1960’s to now in cleaning up our environment. I know, I lived through it. In college I took a trip to Europe where we were shown the extent of pollution in the European river ways.

      Most, if not all, of those are clean today. LA’s air is immensely more breathable than it used to be. We are all more conscientious about our “footprint”.

      Now, all of these efforts create “markets”. As things actually get fixed the markets aren’t there any longer. So, just like bureaucracies everywhere, they get “creative” and “grow” new markets. “Climate Change (TM)” is one of those.

      Cleaning the plastic from the ocean is doable and should be done. Keeping it out in the first place is a worthy cause as well. The deep damage, from oil drilling and such, is not so easily accomplished. Nonetheless, that is another “market” that should be exploited.

  11. “Plastic Paradise – The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” by Angela Sun

    I guess they tend to forget Investigative Reporter named Angela Sun did the investigation before, then created & directed that film around 2010. She should still be recognized for all her hard works.
    Anyways, you can watch trailer at her website here –

  12. The problem is caused by plastics that float, mainly polyethylene and polypropylene. The first has massive use in plastic bags and containers. However it can be weighted down to sink simply by adding cheap inorganic fillers like clay and talc. Perhaps we need legislation banning the use of plastics that float in sea water, at least in coastal cities and in marine uses. And this would have to catch on in china and third world countries to have a measurable effect.

  13. ok….so….just “”gooving”‘…” thinking about the Chinese building gigantic “islands now” in the middle of the oceans…capable of supporting landing crafts/airplanes, etc…….but, why can’t WE round up all this already FLOATING “garbage waste…esp the “garbage waste islands” floating in the oceans….and claim it/develop it into our own territories?

    I hate to tell you what year this was…but when I was in college, I had to take speech class…and….one of our persuasive speeches had to do with trying to convince people of one stand or another for the future. I gave a speech then about how our future might depend upon building our own floating oceanic “islands” to support populations or military outposts……geeze…but never figured that islands of GARBAGE could give us our geneis of this……IF ONLY WE WOULD TAKE THE INITIATIVE……


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