Tag Archives: florida

Industrial farming linked to massive Red Tides


I just finished watching the movie Dirt a film that (among other concepts) shows viewers the negative impacts of industrial farming practices and it really got me thinking….

Living on Florida’s gulf coast, from time to time the Tampa Bay Area is plagued by the infamous red tide. For those of you not familiar, red tide is created primarily by excess fertilizers used in farming that runoff into rivers and streams. These fertilizers eventually end up in coastal areas. The excess nutrients become a food source for phytoplankton to feed on, creating massive algae blooms in high concentration that leaves red colored trails in the water.

As the algae blooms die, microorganisms feed on the algae and deplete the dissolved oxygen levels in the water. Fish and other submarine life perish without vital oxygen. Also, one species of algae often associated with red tide produces neurotoxins that can be harmful to birds, humans, and other land animals. Red tide creates polluted beaches, full of dead fish and makes swimming and beach activities unsafe.

Christopher George- Aquatic Biologist
Tampa, FL

After thinking about all of this, my mind really started turning…With all of the concerns about the methane emissions of biodegradable plastics, what about the excess of fertilizers used when farming corn, is anyone concerned with how that will effect the earth/waters? Is there any fix that doesn’t have any faults? Does the spread of articles on the internet that misguide readers give us a sense of false concerns ? ( See my Is the methane released from biodegradable plastic harmful? Blog )

These are all things to definitely think about and talk about! Make sure to leave any of your thoughts in the comment box below, I look forward to this discussion!

-Megan Bentley





Thanks for the photos


USF Student visits ENSO!

Here at the ENSO corporate office, we currently have a special guest visiting with us for 2 weeks. Heidi Grace Paintner, a student at the University of South Florida and is currently working on a project for her MA in Global Sustainability. The Patel School of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida was the nation’s first school of its kind and is seen as an educational leader in this growing field. This program aims to train students to be leaders in the area environmental stewardship and prepares them for work in “green collar” occupations.

The title of Heidi’s thesis/project is PET Plastics: Biodegradability & Sustainable Packaging in the Bottled Beverage Industry. She found ENSO when researching solutions to the current landfill crisis the bottled beverage industry is struggling to resolve. We are very excited to be working with her and helping her to further develop her research in the area of sustainable beverage packaging.

Today was Heidi’s first day at the office. After meeting everyone and showing her what we do here at ENSO, I helped her to develop a bottled beverage consumer survey. If you all could please take a moment to participate in this survey, Heidi and I would greatly appreciate it. The survey is now closed.

The survey pertains to PET plant based plastics and the perception consumers have on their biodegradability. She will be using the results of this survey in her research project. Tomorrow she will meet with Del, the VP over our Environmental and Technology group and begin learning about the legislative issues that surround biodegradable plastics. ENSO is very excited to have Heidi with us for the next few weeks!