Clearing plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch

Look to help people start thinking about the global plastic pollution problem

You have almost certainly seen this recording of the diver Rich Horner swimming through a sea of plastic waste off the Bali coastline. Each minute, the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic ends up in the ocean, where it’s eaten by fish, birds and other marine animals

The Ocean Cleanup has developed “advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. A full-scale deployment of our systems is estimated to clean up 50 % of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years.” To understand the technology, scheduled to launch in early September 2018, watch the video.

That will take time, as the Pacific Garbage Patch is merely the largest of five huge plastic collections in our oceans. Meanwhile, the rest of us need to put an end to the plastic pollution of our waters. My daughter refuses single-use plastic straws, and she’s insisted that we purchase reusable ones.

Plastic straws are one of the top five ocean pollutants. Companies such as Starbucks are being pressured to adapt. In fact, the coffee chain is rolling out paper straws at some of its stores starting this month, in South Korea. “Plastic straws will disappear from all Starbucks stores globally by 2020.”

In 2017, I signed onto a Kickstarter for LOLIWARE, which is putting out “the world’s first edible, hypercompostable, marine-degradable straw”; there was a simultaneous IndieGoGo campaign, the product of which is due soon.

Even environmentalist admit our plastic problem doesn’t end with straws. “We look at straws as one of the gateway issues to help people start thinking about the global plastic pollution problem,” Plastic Pollution Coalition CEO Dianna Cohen told Business Insider.

Arthur@AmeriNZ is doing his part by changing the shopping bags that he uses, and repairing what might otherwise be thrown away.

Ironically, Cultural Treasures Are Made of Plastic. Now They’re Falling Apart. The neoprene in Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit has hardened and become brittle with age.

In The Graduate, Mr. McGuire tells Benjamin, “There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?” We need to think about those polymers and our own future.

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