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A fascinating conversation during Tuesday (24 Nov 14) lunchtime took place with a Lloyd's Register employee discussing the difference in sea salt densities in the northern and southern hemispheres and the risk to super freighters.

While developing our thoughts and approach to our upcoming series on plastic in the sea, discussion turned to the risk to ship propellers. A senior worker comes in from Lloyd’s Register who joins the conversation and explained in great detail that propellers were unlikely to be affected by plastic but a possibility of risk to the ballast tanks could be conceived.

All super tankers must have cargo when travelling the seas to maintain correct buoyancy. It was explained that salt content in the southern hemisphere is different to salt content in the northern hemisphere. Around areas where the world’s great rivers wash out, like the Amazon, completely different levels of saline exist. This affects the plimsoll level. Seawater is sucked into the ship to use as ballast, if this water is badly contaminated by plastic there caused by increased pollution then the risk of damage increase.

Why could this be important?

Because, if insurers perceive plastic in the sea as a risk they will have an active reason to confront the problem and encourage prevention.

Waste.Agency has invited an expert from Lloyd’s Register to give a presentation on this fascinating insight into super container ships, which the World’s economy relies so heavily for globalised trade.

As part of this talk series, Professor of Sociology, Caroline Knowles (Goldsmiths, University of London) will be returning to discuss the back roads of globalisation through her book Flip Flop, which follows the making and movement of these innocuous items.

Supporting sources and image, Wikipedia

#wasteagency #academic #talk #research #environment

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