21.MAR.18

The Economist: Ridding the ocean of plastic

By 2050 the plastic in the world’s oceans could weigh more than the fish. On World Oceans Day actor Adrian Grenier, and young entrepreneur Boyan Slat, look for solutions to the problem.

Eight million tonnes of plastic pollution are washed into the ocean every year. Hollywood actor Adrian Grenier is best known for his role in the show Entourage. His concern over the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean led him to co-found the Lonely Whale Foundation in 2015. Through Education and action, the foundation aims to make ocean conditions better for marine life.

While Adrian Grenier is trying to prevent plastic getting into the ocean, others are looking for ways to remove the plastic that is already there.

A 22 year old from the Netherlands came up with a radical solution. Boyan Slat's idea was to create an artificial coastline structure deep enough to catch the plastic but shallow enough to allow sea life to swim underneath. Driven by the ocean currents, plastic should gather on the barrier so it can be easily collected and recycled.

Some oceanographers doubt whether this will work and argue the focus should be on preventing plastic getting into the ocean in the first place. But Boyan Slat's vision has attracted finance from all over the world; A prototype of the barrier will be tested in the pacific ocean in 2017.

(The Economist)

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