[Rich] over at Tropical Ocean Cleanup on YouTube has been working hard to prevent plastic waste from getting into the waters around the Philippines. Even as a mostly one-man crew, he’s collecting large sums of plastic waste using a boom system which he fittingly made out of waste: old tires and empty plastic bottles. This Kaboom system is a low-cost method of capturing any waste so that it can be collected and properly disposed of. In addition [Rich] also installs containers where locals can dispose of their plastic trash.
The Kaboom system is detailed by [Rich] in this video (also linked after the break). As a shoestring budget project, it relies heavily on donations and local support to install more of these booms. It is however a highly effective way to prevent such common plastic waste from making it into the oceans in the first place. Having these booms made out of waste items that are commonly found where humans roam should make this a snap.
Ideally, local governments would be installing such capturing systems and easy waste disposal options, but sometimes it seems grassroots efforts like these are what will bring the fastest change.
Curious about what to do with all that plastic waste once you collect and identify it? How about making some plastic bricks?
Continue reading “Keeping The Philippines’ Surface Waters Clean With Kabooms” →
Plastic waste is everywhere you look, and there’s seemingly no end in sight for both the demand and production of plastic goods. So isn’t it time to try putting all that waste from the plastic industry to good use? [Nzambi Matee], a materials engineer in Kenya, thinks so. She was tired of seeing plastic littering the streets of Nairobi, and saw an opportunity to solve two problems at once — cleaning up the streets and paving them with plastic.
Three years ago, [Nzambi] quit her job as an oil industry data analyst and used all her savings to pursue a solution for the pesky plastic problem. She built a lab in her mother’s backyard and begin experimenting with plastics and sand, melding them together to make blocks.
After about a year of trial and error, she had discovered which plastics worked and which didn’t. Then she developed machinery to churn out the sand-plastic paste and stamp it into sturdy paving bricks. Her company Gjenge Makers gets most of their plastic free from factories that would otherwise have to pay to dispose of it. The bricks are strong, lightweight, and nearly indestructible compared to concrete pavers. In the video after the break, there’s a shot of [Nzambi] spiking one on the ground to demonstrate its toughness.
Now, her company produces about 1,500 of these pavers each day. [Nzambi] and her team are planning to start making building blocks as well. With a melting point somewhere above 350° C, the material seems pretty well-suited for that purpose.
Want to do more than just recycle your plastic, but don’t know how? You could start by turning plastic bottles into rope, and then use the rope to make things like brooms and brushes.
Continue reading “These Plastic Pavers Are Earth Savers” →
Since the widespread manufacture of plastics began in earnest in the early 1950s, plastic pollution in the environment has become a major global problem. Nowhere is this more evident than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A large ocean gyre that has become a swirling vortex full of slowly decaying plastic trash, it has become a primary target for ocean cleanup campaigns in recent years.
However, plastic just doesn’t magically appear in the middle of the ocean by magic. The vast majority of plastic in the ocean first passes through river systems around the globe. Thanks to new research, efforts are now beginning to turn to tackling the issue of plastic pollution before it gets out to the broader ocean, where it can be even harder to clean up.
Continue reading “Targeting Rivers To Keep Plastic Pollution Out Of The Ocean” →