End Game for Ocean Plastics.
Why 海洋变化 is Focused on Getting Plastic Pollution off the Planet.
What do we mean by “End Game for Ocean Plastic?”
It’s important for us to be clear about what we’re talking about when we say we’re focused on delivering an end game for ocean plastics. By no means does 海洋变化 believe we can single-handedly end the plastic pollution crisis threatening our environment and humanity. We use the phrase end game because we are deploying Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM) technology to provide a permanent disposal option for plastics instead of sending material back into our broken waste management and recycling systems.
Putting the PEM on a ship will allow us to prevent the plastic collected during cleanup efforts from being left behind or lost back into the environment for lack of a real solution on remote islands or in developing nations that lack waste collection and waste management 选项.
The first 海洋变化 ship will be outfitted with a mobile PEM system that processes 2 tons of plastic per day.
Here are the tangible differences eliminating 2 tons of ocean plastic pollution per day can make:
1. Targeted protection of coral reefs.
85% of reefs in Indonesia are considered threatened. Incidence of disease in coral reefs increases from 4% to 89% when in contact with plastic. By eliminating 2 tons of plastic per day we can help protect a marine ecosystem that contains 76% of the world’s coral species.
2. Saving marine mammals and sea birds
超过100,000 marine mammals like sea turtles, 海豚, and whales and over 1 million sea birds die each year from ingesting plastic. Getting rid of as plastic pollution and the ‘ghost net’ abandoned fishing gear that entangles and chokes marine mammals will help save endangered species in our oceans.
3. Stopping plastic from being burned and releasing toxins.
Burning trash is a common way of dealing with plastic and other waste in developing nations and island states that lack formal waste management systems and are running out of landfill space. The open burning of plastic releases cancer-causing dioxins and hazardous chemical compounds into the atmosphere, accelerates climate change, and is causing respiratory illness and other disease in vulnerable populations.
4. Providing a permanent disposal solution for plastic collected from beach cleanups.
Groups like Ocean Voyages Institute, 4海洋, and Ocean Cleanup are doing an excellent job of getting plastic out of our rivers and oceans. Unfortunately, once that plastic is cleaned up the only option for material that can’t be reused is to send it back into a broken waste management cycle. The same plastic that took a massive effort and significant resources to collect will either be landfilled or lost back into the environment. 海洋变化 can stop that loop by providing a permanent disposal solution for collected ocean plastic.
扩大, 海洋变化 will focus on placing PEM systems that can get rid of up to 125 tons of plastic per day on land – including along the 10 rivers where 90% of plastic is currently flowing into the ocean.
Here’s how we fit into the current 选项 for dealing with our growing ocean plastics crisis.
海洋变化 unequivocally supports upstream efforts to reduce the amount of plastic produced and consumed. Federal legislation like the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act are critically important to addressing the plastics crisis for the long-term.
But plastic isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The reliance on single-use plastics, gloves, and masks during the COVID crisis has only made things worse. And even if we turned the tap off on plastic production completely today, we would still have over 150 million tons circulating marine environments to deal with.
There is no silver bullet for stopping plastic pollution and saving our oceans. It’s time to fire away with all available solutions.
海洋变化 has a viable, proven solution to start getting plastic out of our oceans and off the planet. We believe there is no time to waste in deploying available technology to deal with the most immediate environmental crises facing our planet. As wildfires and extreme weather once again threaten lives and disrupt economies around the globe, it’s clear we need to take immediate action to protect our oceans and the critical role they play in regulating our climate.