Could we use discarded plastic bags to store and transport fresh water as ice?

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Offline birdzoom

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I was thinking - because we always end up with so many supermarket plastic bags - if it would make sense to send this discarded plastic bags to the North or South Pole so that someone there would put ice on it and close it very tight. This way, I'm not sure if sea water would destroy them but if not they could then be caught much later in the ocean and they had inside clean water...

Also we could make giant plastic bags with the same intent. To save clean water from ice.

Mod edit - formatted subject as a question - please do this to help keep the forum tidy and easier to navigate. Thanks.
« Last Edit: 19/01/2011 11:36:03 by BenV »


Offline Eric A. Taylor

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I'm not sure that would work. For one supermarket bags are very thin an tear easy. Forces from wave action would surly tear the bags open. Second, considering the effort your plan would require I think it's far cheaper just to use standard desalination techniques.
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Offline Geezer

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People have proposed towing icebergs as a means of transporting fresh water, but I suspect there are too many technical difficulties to overcome.
« Last Edit: 17/01/2011 06:39:03 by Geezer »
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Offline CliffordK

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You can buy reusable grocery bags... which I can never seem to remember to bring with me.  Most of the store bags are very thin, and either have holes in them, or would get holes in them very quickly.

We have plenty of precipitation in the world.  The problem is just getting water where & when we need it.

I think Noah retired here in Oregon...  so it normally rains 40 days and 40 nights EVERY WINTER (ok, just about).  Then it dries up in the summers and one can see the mountain peaks once again.

Lake Mead, several hundred miles south is now reaching a critical water shortage.  But much of that is a supply and demand issue.  The Colorado is a BIG river, yet they use the water out of it faster than nature can put it back in.

If I sent a thousand ocean tankers full of water from the Columbia River to the Colorado River, it would hardly make a dent in the lake levels.  Shut down Las Vegas for a year, and the lake would be full again.

If you just threw extra bags into the oceans...
Some would reach the beaches around the globe.
Fewer still would reach the intended beach.
Many would end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Oddly, most of the photos I'm finding on the web for it are faked, as the actual density of the plastic isn't as high as one might have expected from the media reports.


Offline Don_1

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People have proposed towing icebergs as a means of transporting fresh water, but I suspect there are too many technical difficulties to overcome.

Cap'n, cap'n, come up on deck quick. The tow rope broke during the night and the iceberg's nowhere to be seen.

Oh bugger! Never mind, we'll get another one next week. Navigator, plot a course for New York. I want to be there to greet the Titanic when she arrives.
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