Environmental degradation is an increasingly pressing global crisis that we are now all aware of, but an often overlooked aspect is the impact on our oceans and the impact this little-noticed problem has on the world. How can we solve this?
In fact, plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats facing our oceans on many levels. Larger plastics can trap and suffocate wildlife, while microplastics ingested by prey species make their way through the food chain, causing oxidative damage, inflammation, and ultimately death. For the same reason microplastics are making their way onto your plate and may even be endangering your own health. , and it’s no surprise that it’s fast.
Thankfully, big breakthroughs have already been made, especially by The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization that develops technology to prevent plastic pollution. This organization was started by Boyan Slat in his 2013 year. A year earlier, in his TED talk, he proposed a passive plastic water catchment system that Ocean Cleanup aims to implement. This model was developed from he 2014 to he 2017 and was deployed for use at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) in 2018.
The GPGP is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean, covering a surface area of 1.6 million square kilometers. As a result, one million seabirds and he 100,000 marine mammals are harmed or killed each year. It is therefore imperative to remove large amounts of plastic in order to save species before they are endangered.
A model Ocean Cleanup, System 001 (aka ‘Wilson’), was launched to tackle this problem, successfully recovering 2000 kg of plastic from a GPGP during a November-December expedition. . The System 001 deployment was found to have many deficiencies, including an inability to hold plastic, so System 002 was launched in 2021. The improved model he recovered 28,000 kg. Incredible improvement over the original. As of July 25, 2022, The Ocean Cleanup announced that his first 100,000 kg of plastic had been removed.
Organizations such as Ocean Cleanup continue to research technologies to prevent plastic pollution and save marine life, giving us hope for our environmental future. By raising awareness of these niche issues of our climate crisis, perhaps more people like Boyan Surat can rise to the difficult task of fixing our environment.