Plastic Oceans Thrown a Lifeline

In PRM 2016’s thought-provoking story, “Plastic Oceans“, author Lindsay Risto reports on the global catastrophe plastic debris choking the world’s oceans. Risto explains that, “Plastic trash, in various forms, often finds its way to one of the five garbage patches in the world’s oceans—the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) being the most well known. Discovered in 1997, the GPGP has a surface area twice the size of Texas, and is located in international waters between Hawaii and California.”

While various measures are being implemented to stem the deadly flow of plastics in the future, that doesn’t address the plastics already in the oceans. But one young eco-warrior is not taking this as a fait accompli.  Enter 21-year old Boyan Slat, CEO and Founder of  The Ocean Cleanup. Slat recently launched his first prototype of a barrier system that allows the oceans’ natural flow patterns to assist in the clean-up. Deploying this 100-metre-long barrier off the coast of the Netherlands, the prototype will remain in the oceans for one year, with expectations it will then be deployed in the GPGP.

Risto’s informative “Plastic Oceans“, coupled with this fascinating video of Boyan’s innovative solution, offer us both context and hope at the end of the (plastic) tunnel.