Wood is organic and therefore not really a problem, right? Wrong. After all, opium is also organic. Wood is an extremely durable material: compare the damage to cars versus trees when these two meet at speed. Add paint, lamination, glue, nails, and various chemical impregnations, and you have an outright, long-lived marine debris issue. The range extends from pencils to entire wooden boats (broken away from moorings, abandoned at sea, swept off by tsunamis, “lost” for insurance purposes, to name just a few sources). Pallets, made to hold a ton of goods and made by the billons, deserve a special subchapter. They can scour shallow coastal ecosystems and crush coral reefs, but they can also be upscaled in 1001 different shabby-chic ways. The symbols and lettering stamped into the wood reveal which ones you can use and which ones should better be disposed of.
KeywordsAlien species Boat Crate Fender Furniture Nail Pallet Rafting Wreck
- 1.The educator’s guide to marine debris. Southeast and Gulf of Mexico. http://www.cosee-se.org/files/southeast/Marine_debris_guide1.pdf
- 2.Shaw A (2013) How wooden chopsticks are killing nature. http://www.ecopedia.com/environment/how-wooden-chopsticks-are-killing-nature/