This is a transcript of the video I made supporting Teamseas.
Plastic is an amazing material.
It’s light, strong, waterproof, and easily molded.
We use it from packaging our food to increasing safety to saving energy.
The applications are numerous, and the cost of manufacturing is low.
On the downside, it’s cheaper to make new plastic products than to recycle old ones.
Also, companies are able to fill supermarkets with products that we don’t really need them.
Consequently, every year we produce 300 million tons of plastic waste.
While 8 million tons end up in the ocean.
As we know, plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade.
Instead, it breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments.
These include microplastics, which are not visible to the human eye and can easily get into food chains.
The same qualities that make plastic a great material, once it reaches the ocean, become a massive threat to the species that live in it, and our well-being.
Nearly 700 species, including the endangered ones, have been affected by plastics.
They confuse the plastic for food and ingest it, which reduces the urge to eat, causing starvation.
It can also block their digestive track or pierce the organs causing death.
Sea lions, dolphins, and seals get curious about the plastic objects, and when they get caught tight, there’s no escape. Becoming entangled can lead to a painful death for them.
Ocean pollution also affects humans.
According to a study, an average person could be ingesting 5 grams of plastic every week. That’s the equivalent of a credit card.
And it’s going to get worse…
Experts forecast that if we continue polluting the ocean at this rate, in 2050, there’ll be more plastics than fish, (by weight).
A solution to this problem is figuring out ways to give economic value to plastic waste.
That’s why many individuals and startups around the world have put into practice creative ideas on reusing plastic.
Here are some inspiring examples:
In 2002, a retired Brazilian mechanic named Jose Alano developed a water heater using 100 plastic bottles and 100 milk cartons.
Jose registered the invention only to prevent businesses from using it for profit, but the information on how to build this collector yourself is in the public domain.
Precious Plastic is an open-source project developing tools and machines to recycle plastic.
On their site, there’s a wealth of information on how you can start your own recycling project.
TakaTaka is a small company in Uganda that recycles plastic waste into construction materials.
During the pandemic, they also created face masks for health care workers since the government had no budget for them.
Bureo is a company that collects abandoned fishing nets and turns them into skateboards, sunglasses, or hats.
Chemists at Cornell University have developed a polymer that degrades in sunlight and can replace commercial fishing gear.
A startup in Tel Aviv called Solutum is developing a plastic-like product that dissolves in water.
Since 1986, Ocean Conservancy has attracted the support of millions of volunteers who have picked over 340 million pounds of trash from the beaches.
The Ocean Cleanup tackles the problem differently.
According to their research, 1% of rivers are responsible for 80% of the plastic that ends up in the ocean from the rivers.
So they have developed the Interceptors… a scalable and efficient system to collect the trash from the most polluting rivers.
It works 24/7 and is powered by solar energy.
As you may know… Mark Rober, Mr. Beast, and Matt Fitzgerald have launched a campaign called Teamseas… to raise $30,000,000 for Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup.
These organizations guarantee that for every $1 we donate, they’ll remove one pound of trash from the ocean.
The reason I’m excited about this campaign is that not only it will raise money and awareness for these organizations and the work they do…
It will also encourage people to learn more about this massive problem and hold their political representatives and corporations accountable.
Because at the end of the day…
These non-profits can only do so much with the resources they have.
If everyone does their fair share, then our children won’t have to live in a world where there is more plastic than fish in the ocean.
Support Teamseas.org for a cleaner ocean.