Because this will be my 1000th post on Steemit I wanted to bring something special and because a post from @route-m-d brought back my attention to a certain problem. That is why I wanted to create some awareness again for this gigantic waste pollution. And the ‘funny’ part of this is that last weekend a Dutch scientist started with his project he invented during his high school in the real world.
Boyan Slat is his name and last Saturday his project started. The project is called “the Ocean Cleanup. After five years of testing they start to clean the Pacific Ocean. Why this ocean? Because there is a gigantic place where all the plastics from the world gather. It has already the name Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). Here floats for sure 80000 tons of plastic in an area with a size three times of France.
Source: The Ocean Cleanup
Scientists think that before we reach the year 2050 the weight of all the plastic in the oceans will outrun the weight of all the fish in these waters. Hopefully this initiative from Boyan will bring a solution to this problem. The project started once as a high school project from him, and it evolved during the years. Since 2013 Boyan collected almost 29 million Euro to finance his dream to clean up the plastics in the ocean. He says, “The ocean needs to be cleared of plastics, I won’t stop before we gathered and removed all these plastics”.
The project plans evolved already in the five years of testing. They started with a plan of creating a gigantic container connected to the bottom. After this the idea changed to create a sort of floating pod with arms 100km long placed in a U-shape. Heavy anchors needed to assure that the system floats slower through the water than the plastics. They thought the plastics would float into the pod. But after testing, they found out that the anchors weren’t stable enough to slowdown the whole thing.
The plan nowadays is still a U shape but now it’s a tube with a screen that reach 3 meters underneath the surface. This way the installation will gather all the plastics and ships will collect the garbage every now and then. The ships can bring it to the shores where they can recycle the plastics into new products. Because of the concept changes during time they still can’t predict how efficient the project will be. But like any new technology, success isn’t guaranteed.
How it works:
Plastic soup is a serious problem
I think everyone agrees that there has to be done something at the plastic soup in all the oceans. Like I mentioned before in an older post, there is also a Plastic Soup Foundation. But more about that later.
Source: The Ocean Cleanup
Every year approx. 320 million ton of plastics are produced. This won’t be a problem if we did recycle it all. But… only 5% of this amount will be recycled in the end. So, it means the other 95% will be left behind somewhere on earth. A large proportion of that amount will end in the oceans of the world. Because of the currents all these plastics will gather at a few spots, so called Gyres. In those Gyres scientists did found for real floating islands of plastics.
The most ‘famous’ of those places is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) I mentioned earlier. Scientist from the Ocean Cleanup think that there is an estimated amount of 80000 tons of plastics. This weight is formed by 1.8 billion pieces of floating (micro)plastics. The amount of waste in our oceans is growing rapidly and the plastics float from the shores to the gyres. Because of the influence of UV and powerfull waves the bigger pieces will demolish till microplastics.
Will this work or not?
The Ocean Cleanup scientists think (after research) that the plastics in the gyres has a certain amount of buoyancy and it floats globally in the average upper 3meters of the water. But other scientists disagree with this fact, they think that the plastics degenerated further and float a depth way deeper than the current screen.
The Ocean Cleanup thinks that they can clear the great oceans around 2040 free from the plastics. But again, other scientists think this is a false claim. At its best only a small percentage of the plastic waste will be removed from the water surfaces.
But there are also some scientists that are worrying about the life in the ocean. Fish and other sea animals could swim in the pod and start eating the plastics or they got entrapped in it.
The Ocean Cleanup reacts with a statement at this point that the installation is floating very slow through the water so that a fish could swim out of it. But they will also bring biologists the first year to check if there are animals and or fish that got entrapped in the pod. There will be camera surveillance to check this as well.
And the discussion continues another group of scientists thinks that bringing the focus to clean up the plastic waste distracts the attention for the real problem, the creation of the plastic waste. They think it would be cheaper and easier to take care that these plastics won’t end up in the oceans.
All the discussions pfff… We better start doing something!
Well I think, it’s time that people stand-up and start doing things. And if we do that by preventing or by cleaning things up I don’t care. I’m glad this Dutch fellow had a great idea in High School and he’s chasing his dream for the world with it. But in fact we all need to do something together and now were back at the Plastic Soup Foundation.
World Cleanup Day
The Plastic Soup Foundation organizes the 15th of September the World Cleanup Day. Only this event is actually only for the Netherlands, so the name is a little strange. But people can create project in their neighborhoods to start cleaning things up locally. And by doing that they can map the problem areas while doing this in an app. I wasn’t aware of this app. But I think it is a great initiative.
Source: The Plastic Soup Foundation
Although the foundation only focuses on the Netherlands the 15th of September, I would try to create some awareness here on Steemit. My question would be can you guys help and while going out this Saturday keep an eye on the street while you go to the bakery, or you go out jogging whatever. When you spot some garbage lying around can you bring it home and dump it in the trashcan? This way everyone will help a little in his or her direct environment and there will be a little bit less plastics that will end in the oceans I hope. So can you Resteem upvote whatever to bring this post under as many people their attention and hopefully we can do our little thing together Saturday the 15th of September. Thank you 😘
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