Is there anyone who hasn't heard the story of Dutch whiz-kid Boyan Slat who invented a solution to rid the ocean of plastics when he was only 16 years old?
Boyan's Ocean Cleanup initiative deserves credit for putting the plastics pollution problem on the map. It is by far the most famous ocean cleanup initiative on this blue planet.
However, as much as the brilliant marketing and PR campaign wants us to believe, Boyan Slat is not Harry Potter and his floating clean up device is not a magic wand that can make all plastics in the ocean disappear.
Fortunately, Boyan and his team are not alone on this quest for plastic free oceans.
With our organisation, we come across hundreds of eco-friendly initiatives, and with the current hype around The Ocean Cleanup's first deployment, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce some lesser known ocean-heroes that deserve just as much or maybe even more visibility.
The 10 initiatives listed below are just a few of the many grassroots projects currently being developed around the world to address plastic pollution. They tell a beautiful story about human ingenuity and what responsible, positive action can do. Enjoy!
1.) WASTE SHARK: https:/www.ranmarine.io/aquadrone-wasteshark
A cool high-tech cleaning drone. Monitoring water quality, taking out trash and even micro-plastics
2.) SEABIN: http://seabinproject.com/
A simple and effective solution to collect (plastic) waste before it enters the ocean.
3.) SEACLEANERS: https://www.theseacleaners.org/en/
Similar to the Ocean Cleanup project, only this French organisation intends to build a plastic-collecting sailing vessel, maybe a bit ambitious?
4.) PLASTIC WHALE: https://plasticwhale.com/
They call themselves the first professional plastic fishing company and they do great things with the plastics they collect.
5.) MR. TRASH WHEEL: http://baltimorewaterfront.com/healthy-harbor/water-wheel/
Solar powered, good looking and effective, all harbours should have a fleet of Mr. Trash Wheels!
6.) COMPILE by CREAX: https://creax.com/en/our-work/skimming-the-plastic-soup
This responsible design company understands that collecting big chunks of plastics is one thing, but that micro- and nano-plastics might probably be an even bigger threat to the ecosystem and to our own survival, so they came up with an award-winning solution:
7.) BYBLOCKS: https://www.byfusion.com/byblocks/
Building materials are one of the most permanent applications of recycled plastics and they can be a cheap and high-quality alternative to more polluting materials. Unlike recycling plastics into yarn for clothing or other wear and tear applications, at least here plastics don't end up in the environment again so easily.
8.) GILI ECO TRUST: http://giliecotrust.com/waste-management/
Action is everything, what Delphine Robbe and her team are doing in Indonesia is simply amazing and they deserve all the support they can get for their multitude of initiatives to protect the Gili Islands from self-destruction by pollution and ecosystems destruction.
9.) ASOCIACION ONDINE: https://www.asociacionondine.org/en/our-projects/dos-manos/
Similar to Delphine Robbe but a few thousand miles apart, Aussie Brad Robertson is on a mission to clean up the seas around the Balearic Islands. With a limited budget but with a big heart and a lot of passion he is shining example of a hands-on diver-activist and impactful eco-warrior.
10.) GHOSTFISHING: https://www.ghostfishing.org/
Lost fishing gear often keeps 'fishing' for years. It's a massive problem around the world and it is another form of plastics pollution that deserves our support and attention. These guys are doing a great job for animals and divers alike and they are looking for partners!
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this article. If you have an eco-initiative or want to support one by offering your expertise, resources or funding, then we kindly invite you to create a free profile on www.oceanimpact.com Your organisation, company or investment fund becomes part of our global network of responsible leaders and we will provide relevant matches for your profile. To find out how we help our premium members achieve their sustainability goals, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
We have no time to waste, let's join forces to create an ocean of positive impact!
By Ief Winckelmans, Founder - OCEAN IMPACT Ltd.
MORE INNOVATIONS LIKE THIS