Plastic is everywhere around us polluting every corner of our planet affecting our life, health and well-being. Our oceans are packed with plastic endangering the existence of marine life.
The National Geographic states the following:
“Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean from coastal regions. That’s about equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet”.
Furthermore, it reports the devastating state of the oceans including the environment. The coral reefs are smothered in bags, turtles gagging on straws, whales and seabirds starving their bodies as due to the bits of plastic there is not enough place for real food, and so on.
The plastic that is discarded mainly comes from single-item use and around 40% of it ends in the oceans. Many companies are recycling the plastic, but that is less than a fifth of all plastic, so there is the need for new innovative solutions to improve this condition.
“New research is emerging apace about the possible long-term impacts of tiny pieces of plastic on the marine food chain—raising fresh questions about how it might ultimately impact human health and food security.”
One of those new inventions is definitely the filtration system in the Henley Reserve that has been installed by the authorities from the Australian city of Kwinana. They have installed a net that is being placed on the outlet of a drainage pipe thereby catching large debris and preventing the contamination of the environment. These pipes drain water from the harmful litter and trash in the residential areas and releasing it clean in the natural areas. In this way the environment is being protected from all the harms that the modern life brings. Plus the drainage system is often being polluted by all the debris that is often washed away by heavy rains, and this new system prevents that pollution as well.
Since it was a fairly new project, the city authorities first installed two nets, but seeing its efficiency, catching over 800 pounds of garbage within several weeks, they decided to install more. Even though the installation and manufacture of these nets is pricey, (around $10,000 per net), the overall system is pretty profitable and offers substantial cost savings. These nets contributed to less pollution in the surrounding environment and thus protected the wildlife.
After the nets become full, they are being lifted up and the trash is thrown into special garbage collecting trucks that are later on brought to a trash-sorting center. When the trash is removed the nets are brought back to their locations. In this centre the waste is being separated into non-recyclable and recyclable material.
The implementation of this filtration system is maybe a small step but very important one in protecting our environment.