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Oceans Of Garbage

series: Global 3000

air date: 8/31/14 6:00 AM

How climate-damaging are plastic bags? - Everywhere in the world shopping almost automatically ends up in plastic bags. The bags are light, tear-resistant and often free of charge. But how much do plastic bags harm the climate? Uganda: Doing business with Paper Bags - In 2012 the Ugandan government banned polythene plastic bags. For Andrew Mupuya, then a schoolboy, it was an inducement to create a business plan and make paper bags. To fund his idea he collected plastic bottles. He began production with just 21 dollars in start-up capital. Now 21, he's won several awards for his business idea, and his small company has produced thousands of bags - by hand. Swirling Seas of Plastic Trash - According to the German Federal Environment Agency, up to 140 million tons of trash are floating around the world's oceans. Millions of tons are swirling in the five major gyres, the large systems of rotating currents, and the debris is slowly drawn into their centers. The largest gyre of marine debris is in the Pacific Ocean and it's said to have an area larger than India. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or Pacific Trash Vortex, as it's known, is still largely un-researched. It consists of plastic waste that drifts into the ocean from coastal areas and rivers. The Global Object - The Monobloc - We're all familiar with the one-piece polypropylene plastic chair, and almost everyone has sat on a Monobloc. It's design is distinctive, but no one knows exactly who developed it - a wide range of rumors about its origin and spread are in circulation. The chairs have been produced all around the world since the 1970s. There are now said to be more than a billion of them worldwide. Henning Wotzel-Herber from Hamburg collects photographs, films and stories about the Monobloc chair. Young Global Leaders: Pacesetter - ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will be entering a new phase in 2015, when it moves towards close economic integration. But the member states are widely diverse. Singapore, for instance, will be one of the wealthiest countries in the single market, while Myanmar, also a member, is one of the world's poorest countries. Whether it's an opportunity or a risk, it's certainly a challenge. Ethiopia: Lake Tana at Risk - Thousands of birds that fly south during the European winter migrate to Lake Tana in Ethiopia. It's the source of the Blue Nile and has a unique ecosystem. More than two thirds of its fish species are unique to the lake. Several of the lake's islands are also home to ancient Coptic monasteries. But the region's resources are under threat. A German conservation group is trying to alleviate the situation.

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