Humans produce a mind-boggling amount of plastic waste – so much that we’re running out of places to put it.
Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans.
Then there are other waterways, landfills, and even roadsides and wilderness polluted with bottles, bags, and pieces of old household products and toys.
According to the Ocean Conservancy, plastic has been found in over 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles, which mistake plastic for food.
Now, one Australian town is fed up with the amount of garbage ending up in their natural areas and decided to try out a simple but innovative trick.
Authorities in Kwinana, Western Australia have installed a new filtration system made of large nets placed over the drain pipes in their spillways. These are designed to catch any debris that comes through.
The water still flows freely, but the nets protect the local environment from contamination and pollution.
When the nets fill up with trash and debris they are removed and the garbage is gathered up into trucks and transported to a sorting center.
There, anything that can be recycled is removed and sent off to be processed for re-use.
The officials started experimenting with the nets in just one spot, called Henry reserve, to see if they worked. And they did!
Government officials and citizens alike have seen a noticeable difference in the amount of trash flowing into their natural areas. This new filtration system has removed more than 800 pounds of debris from two outlets in only a couple of weeks!
As you can see, the nets catch a shocking amount of waste that would normally end up in the water.
Now that the testing phase has been successful, they’ve decided to install the nets across the entire city to minimize litter and to help protect the local wildlife.
The only downside is the expense.
The nets need to be durable and reusable and are therefore made of a special material that comes at quite a cost. Each net requires a roughly $10,000 investment. And the process of emptying and sorting is lengthy and labor-intensive.
Then the nets need to be reinstalled after emptying.
But it’s a small price to pay to rid the town of trash and most of the townspeople believe that it is well worth the investment.
And, let’s face it, we’re far beyond the point of cheap and easy solutions after ignoring the signs of pollution for so long.
According to the Ocean Conservancy:
“So much of this plastic is ending up in the ocean that in just a few years, we might end up with a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the sea. But the future of plastics in our ocean will be determined by the way we handle plastics on land.”
That means we need more solutions like this and hard work from everyone if we’re going to save our planet from looking like a garbage dump.
Plastic production and consumption are predicted to double over the next 10 years, meaning if we don’t act quickly, we could be facing 250 million metric tons of it in the ocean in less than 10 years.
That should be scary enough to make anyone willing to take a chance on innovations such as this – AND reduce their plastic consumption!
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Source: Inner Strength