Perhaps you saw the video of the sea turtle getting something removed from his nose. Removal of the object was nearly as difficult for those trying to remove the obstruction as it was for the turtle. There was some uncertainty about exactly what the obstruction was, and it just kept coming. Once the object was out, the helpers realized it was an ordinary plastic drinking straw. This is why they don’t give us straws with our beverages at the zoo. To see more images look here.
Nature World News reported in February 2015 that an estimated eight million metric tons of plastics has found its way into our oceans, with the amount only expected to increase. While there are other causes of pollution to our oceans, plastic alone has a 13 billion dollar a year impact, Project Aware is one group working to clean plastics from the ocean, buy encouraging divers to pick up the trash while out exploring. Picking up, plastic from the ocean a piece at a time is slow work.
There is a young man with a better idea. Boyan Slat, a 20-year-old Dutch inventor, has been working on the plastic pollution problem in an area of the Pacific Ocean called the Garbage Patch were debris tends to collect, and has started a non-profit called Ocean’s Cleanup to get the job done. Slat’s system uses floating barriers and the oceans own current to collect the trash. Plastic is then recycled.
Crowned “Champion of the Earth” the United Nations highest accolade in 2014, Slat has led 100 scientist and engineers in a feasibility study and is preparing to launch a pilot program off the coast of Japan in 2016.
To hear Slat explain his journey and process of invention take a few minutes to listen to this intelligent young man for yourself. When we heal the oceans, we improve our own lives.