Beach in Sharm el-Naga03

Plastic waste in the oceans is a growing problem. Several garbage patches or gyres have now formed in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean, with sea birds, whales and dolphins particularly affected, and large amounts of debris washed ashore of most major oceans and lakes. Through waves, sunlight and mechanical wear the debris gets broken down into ever smaller parts, being more easily ingested by wildlife as it is being mistaken for food. Plastics also adsorb toxic chemicals including PCBs and DDTs, and get distributed throughout the water column rather than just floating atop.

Recycling rates are improving, but still far too much ends up in landfill. HatchThatch consists to 99% of recovered and reused plastic material, and diverts 1.3kg of plastic waste from landfill per unit, thereby capturing, storing and retaining 210kgs of CO₂e.

Further Reading

Dramatic footage of the consequences of ocean plastic pollution on water birds:
www.midwayfilm.com

The Plastic Pollution Coalition pursues a “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” consumer awareness strategy:
plasticpollutioncoalition.org

Boyan Slat’s clean-up project:
www.theoceancleanup.com