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Plastics in the North Pacific Ocean - A 'Plastic Soup' model

SD Society, February 10, Nijmegen

Alex de Vos

on 26 July 2012

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Transcript of Plastics in the North Pacific Ocean - A 'Plastic Soup' model

Background 1 Results 3 The Model 2 Next Steps 4 Green part of the model Simulates the demand for and usage of plastic products in a country. Main influencing factors:
Population, drives demand
Recyclability of plastics
Oil price, influences recycling capacity Into blue part Five largest countries by population
Single Use (SU) items and domestic usage
Simplified ocean flows (only one direction)
Model stops at the plastic-plankton concentration Blue part of the model Simulates the flow of plastic in the ocean Policy 1: Less usage SU goods
Policy 2: Stimulation of recycling
Policy 3: Remove plastic out of the ocean
Policy 4: Cultivation of plankton Policies The recycling capacity should be modelled otherwise
Degradation plastic in the ocean is uncertain
More realistic behaviour of plankton
Ocean flows should be dynamic
Consumption of plastic by fish, resulting in plastic consumption by humans Improvements of the model More and more knowledge Our Goal To make a model in which different policies can be tested and to see their influence on the ecosystem in the North Pacific Ocean Limitations Project for a Continuous Systems Modelling course, supervised by Dr. Erik Pruyt
First modelling project How to avoid problems of the plastic soup? Conclusions Almost impossible to remove all plastics out of the ocean
Countries should act together Outflow Degradation (sinking plastic)
Removing plastic Plastic VS Plankton ratio Risk to the possibility of
contamination of marine animals More and more plastic is ending up in the oceans These plastics are getting as small as the size of plankton, and even smaller. Fish don't see any difference anymore. We divide the North Pacific Ocean in seven zones used in our model
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