Plastic is Killing the Oceans


This shocking image was taken off the Honduran island of Roatan.

The photographer Caroline Power, who lives on Roatan, which is just 12 miles long and three miles wide, shared this images on social media to raise awareness of the problem.

Think about your daily lives,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “How did you take your food to go last time you ate out? How was your last street food served? Chances are it was Styrofoam and served with a plastic fork and then put in a plastic bag. Do you still use plastic garbage bags? Plastic soda bottles? Zip lock bags? Plastic wrap on your food? Do you buy toilet paper that comes wrapped in plastic instead of paper? Do you put your fruit and vegetables in produce bags at the grocery?

More than eight million tonnes of plastic goes into the oceans every year, and it is estimated there will be more of it than fish by 2050…

About 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean every year. Part of this accumulates in 5 areas where currents converge: the gyres. At least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are currently in the oceans, a third of which is concentrated in the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.            

Every week the volume of two Empire State Buildings worth of plastic floats into the oceans, where it damages ecosystems, damages economies and enters the food chain, thereby potentially damaging us humans. Ocean plastic does not disappear by itself so it has to be cleaned up.

That’s why the Ocean Cleanup Team, founded by the young Boyan Slat, are developing the Ocean Cleanup Array, a floating network of barriers that can extract plastic for recycling. A single Ocean Cleanup Array can clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years’ time.

The Ocean Cleanup’s passive technology enables the ocean to clean itself. A V-shaped array of floating barriers, attached to the seabed, will catch the plastic deposited there by the natural ocean currents.    The scalable array of floating barriers will funnel plastics towards the center of the structure, enabling a central platform to efficiently extract and store the concentrated plastic until it is transported to land for recycling. Intended for large-scale deployment, it can harvest plastic from millions of square kilometers.
Underneath the booms, a submerged non-permeable screen will help concentrate plastic which is suspended under the surface. Most of the current will pass under these screens, carrying away all (neutrally buoyant) sea life and preventing by-catch. The lighter-than-water plastic will collect in front of the floating barriers.

The Ocean Cleanup’s feasibility study indicates that a single 100 kilometer-long cleanup array could remove 42% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over a period of 10 years. In our most conservative estimate this amounts to over 70 million kilos of plastic, at a cleanup cost of 4.53 Euro per kilo.

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    Thank you for the awareness creating picture and Website!