Garbage In or Garbage Out?

From a recent article on the Oil Drum on using superkites to propel ocean freighters, I learned (always read the comments!) that the Emma Maerks is the world’s largest cargo ship. You can see what it looks like here.

In a recent voyage, it left China, destination Europe, with a load of 11,000 20ft containers full of:

Martini glasses, sports bags, shower gel, shampoo and bath foam, pinball machines, toothpicks, chopsticks, electric guitars, tool boxes, drum kits, lamp shades, silver and wooden photo frames, wooden trouser hangers, candles, books, laptop computers, singing and dancing gorilla toys, poker tables, bingo sets, lunchboxes, cuddly toys, make-up, dolls, toy motorcycles, christmas decorations, sofas, puzzles, televisions, frozen mussles, computer parts, CD players, fax machines, key rings, jam, noodles, biscuits, pumpkins (frozen), more than 1000 bales of carpet, 117 boxes of girls jeans, 40 boxes of brass, 2000 pairs of mens shoes, 9000 pairs of trainers, three boxes of spectacle frames and more than 1500 frozen cooked chickens.

On the return trip to China it loaded up with:

Plastic scrap, waste paper and card, waste electronic components, repairable electrical goods and scap metal.

If I knew what geo-economic tea leaves looked like or how to read them, I’m sure I would know what this all means. Meanwhile, I just have to rely on hunches.

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