In my last couple of posts I’ve talked about how and to what extent our oceans have and continue to be polluted. Whilst the damage is occurring there are several initiatives out there that are trying clear the mess up or limit the damage at the very least.
One of causes I have chosen to support as a Miss Earth UK finalist is ‘The Ocean CleanUp’. Relatively young the not-for-profit was founded in 2013. Headquartered in the Netherlands with facilities in California the charities reach and ambition is global. With the aim to develop technologies aimed at clearing up the world’s oceans of plastics.
‘For society to progress, we should not only move forward but also clean up after ourselves.’ Boyan Slat CEO & Founder – The Ocean CleanUp
The Ocean Cleanup is designing and developing the first feasible method to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.
Boyan Slat and the 120 meter tow test unit of the first cleanup system in April 2018 (Image courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup)
Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the ocean. A significant percentage of this plastic drifts into large systems of circulating ocean currents, also known as gyres. Once trapped in a gyre, the plastic will break down into microplastics and become increasingly easier to mistake for food by sea life. I recently read that microplastic pollution on beaches could be affecting the sex of baby turtles. Almost a quarter of the fish consumed contain plastics a study found this through analysing fish sold in markets in Indonesia and California.
Going after the pollutant with vessels and nets would be costly, time-consuming, labour-intensive and lead to vast amounts of carbon emissions and by-catch. That is why The Ocean Cleanup is developing a passive system, moving with the currents – just like the plastic – to catch it. More information about the technology can be found on the website.
To help this one of three worthy causes I’m supporting please donate here.