The plastic curse lives on in our oceans


I wrote as early as 2008 about plastic being a curse for our oceans. It seems the situation may completely out of control as according to the World Economic Forum plastic could outweigh fishes in our oceans by mid century. 

Yes you read that right. Cue George Carlin and his rant on environmentalists and why are we here ( around 5-6 minutes) …

But back to plastic per se. Here is what the Washington Post had to say :

There is a lot of plastic in the world’s oceans.

(…) But that quantity pales in comparison with the amount that the World Economic Forum expects will be floating into the oceans by the middle of the century.

If we keep producing (and failing to properly dispose of) plastics at predicted rates, plastics in the ocean will outweigh fish pound for pound in 2050, the nonprofit foundation said in a report Tuesday.

 

I was shocked – and quite depressed – during my trip in La Barra, Colombia, that the otherwise pristine and paradise-like beaches were littered with plastic waste of all kinds. But there is hope :

  1. This is based on a business as usual madness scenario. More and more places are starting to ban plastic bags, recycling is growing globally… There is awareness of the problem and its solutions.
  2. Recovering the plastic from our oceans can be done as Boyan Slat and his experiment have shown. We will ” just ” have  to scale this up all around the world. This will require overcoming the tragedy of the commons however ;
  3. Once the plastic is collected it could either be recycled or burned in clean waste to energy plants to produce both electricity and heat for district heating. The same could be done with plastic littering our land mines ;
  4. Japanese scientists have discovered a bacteria that could eat plastic bottles as the Wall Street Journal and many others news sources have reported.

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