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The Garfield Problem

The Garfield Problem
12.27.2019

For over three decades it was an undefined mystery.

Spare parts of bright orange plastic washing ashore in southern and western France. Boomers and Millennials were left perplexed and skeptical but if you were a teenager in 1984, you might recognize these from a mile away.

 

Imagine it, the famous Garfield phones, manufactured by Tyco from 1981 to 1986 were all the craze! The phones were marketed as “Real Phones for Real Fun” and featured a keypad, specific ring, extra long cord and eyes that close when you hang up, perfect for teens of the era. 

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Over the years however, coastal locals in France have been picking up remnants of the beloved Garfield phone along the shoreline. Volunteers have even traveled to the beaches to clean up year after year never knowing where or how they appeared.

 

This year the mystery was finally solved! A large shipping container nestled off in a sea cave near Brittany was discovered by volunteers searching for the source. Locals were shocked that this waste had been there untouched for thirty-five years, some completely unscathed.

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With the longevity of plastic and amount of shipping containers that travel the oceans each day, the reality of maritime pollution is more common than you would think. According to the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations, around 148 million shipping containers are sent by sea each year and those numbers are increasing.

 

Between 2008 and 2016, shipping companies lost over 1,500 containers a year due to storms at sea, whole shipping containers guys! The typical size for a shipping container is 40 ft x 9 ft, that could fit three whole Gone for Good trucks!

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Depending on the contents, one shipping container alone could have serious consequences for marine life and ecosystems. Thanks to Garfield, the International Maritime Organization met this year to reconstruct procedures for reporting lost containers and acknowledging liability.

 

Do your part to keep our oceans clean. Repurposing vintage items from the 80s and 90s is so in right now. There is a hipster just waiting to get their hands on your old stuff. Call Gone for Good to put that stuff where it belongs.    

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