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SUSTAINABILITY : Plastic tide 'causing $13 bn in damage', UN says

by Staff Writers
Nairobi (AFP) June 23, 2014

The dumping of plastic waste into the world's oceans is causing at least $13 billion a year of damage, threatening marine life, tourism and fisheries, the United Nations warned Monday at the launch of a global environment conference.

"Plastics have come to play a crucial role in modern life, but the environmental impacts of the way we use them cannot be ignored,"
said UN Environment Programme (UNEP) chief Achim Steiner said.

"The key course of action is to prevent plastic debris from entering the environment in the first place, which translates into a single powerful objective: reduce, reuse, recycle."

Scientists have found tiny plastic fragments trapped in sea ice in polar regions, while plastic waste has killed marine life, whether it be eaten by sea creatures such as turtles, tangled up dolphins and whales, or caused "damage to critical habitats such as coral reefs," the report read.

"There are also concerns about chemical contamination, invasive species spread by plastic fragments, and economic damage to the fishing and tourism industries in many countries-by, for example, fouling fishing equipment and polluting beaches,"
it added.

While much of the plastic waste ends up in vast mid-ocean rubbish patches where marine currents converge, micro-plastics -- tiny fragments less than five millimetres in diameter -- have had a growing impact that is particularly worrying, UNEP said.

"Their ingestion has been widely reported in marine organisms, including seabirds, fish, mussels, worms and zooplankton,"
the report added.

"Transported by ocean currents across great distances, these contaminated particles eventually become a source of chemicals in our food,"
Steiner added.

Some of the tiny fragments are caused by the breakdown of plastics, but one emerging issue is the increasing use of directly created "micro beads" of plastic in toothpaste, gels and facial cleansers.

"These micro plastics tend not to be filtered out during sewage treatment, but are released directly into rivers, lakes and the ocean,"
the report added.

Companies should take responsibility, with experts arguing they could also boost their business savings through greater recycling efforts.

"The research unveils the need for companies to consider their plastic footprint, just as they do for carbon, water and forestry,"
said Andrew Russell, chief of the Plastic Disclosure Project, a UNEP backed organisation.

The UNEP report was released at its headquarters in Kenya as it opened its first week-long conference bringing together over 1,200 delegates and experts to discuss a raft of environment challenges.

The UNEP conference runs until Friday, tackling a range of subjects including sustainable consumption and production, and financing the "green economy".

It will also examine the illegal trade in wildlife and environmental rule of law.

The conference comes amid tight security in the Kenyan capital, after a series of warnings of the threat of attack by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…