Plastic Waste at Sea
Marine debris caused by household garbage travels from rivers into seas and oceans. Across the globe, there are five oceanic gyres. It’s estimated that the largest oceanic garbage patch, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 1.6 million square kilometres, three times the size of France or twice the size of Texas. Scientific Reports confirmed that discarded fishing nets cause up to 46% of this debris. The aquatic vortex makes it difficult to recover garbage waste out at sea. UV from the sun assists with breaking down the plastic debris forming microplastic. We’ve previously discussed The Hunt and Recovery of Microplastics. However, we’ll seek an alternative option to avoid household waste floating along the ocean and causing damage to marine life and habitats. This method restores precious mangrove forests.
Plastic Floating Island
Richart Sowa built a floating island out of recycled materials near Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This carpenter turned eco-builder created a floating island out of 150,000 used plastic bottles. Richart registered the island as an ecological boat with maritime officials. Air-filled plastic bottles are bound with nets and attached to pallets. Next, a layer of plywood covers the pallet and heaps of sand provide support for mangrove trees. The roots of the mangroves stabilise the island by binding all these layers together. This method preserves plastic bottles for longer, as it keeps the bottles away from sunlight, avoiding the creation of microplastics.