Oceanbound Plastics a Global Problem
Conventional wisdom suggests that the answer to addressing this Oceanbound plastics global problem is heading out to sea with equipment capable of scooping plastic out of the marine environment and processing it into something of value. A romantic notion no doubt, however, the physics of the marine and tidal environment coupled with the disparate nature of the plastic material present makes this task inherently difficult to manage and offers a high risk/ low reward proposition with little impact on the real issue. Add to that the photo-degradation of polymer as a rule (plastic eventually disintegrates to particle form and sinks after long exposure to sun, friction and salt water) and you will find that there is little incentive to try and grab it.
Eliminating Oceanbound Plastics
A key to reducing or eliminating oceanbound plastics and waterways of the world over time is to instead invest in the infrastructure of the top polluting countries in order to establish collection and recycling systems that will capture disposed plastic material at the source and handle it responsibly. In other words, move the solution set closer to the front of the pipe where the problem occurs rather than the end of the pipe where the problem must be dealt with repeatedly.
A Plastics to Hydrocarbon Fuel Conversion System
Innovative new technologies such as the Plastics-To-Fuel conversion system manufactured by RES Polyflow can enhance and even accelerate the implementation of plastic waste collection and recycling systems by providing a market for the plastic material that is recovered by manual or mechanical sortation. Local fuel can be produced from local waste polymer using RES Polyflow’s Plastic-To-Fuel equipment, offering an ongoing economic incentive to local stakeholders as well as enormous social and environmental benefits to the local population where an island nation or coastal community’s waste management practices are established or modernized.
Research conducted by the American Chemistry Council and various public and private sector stakeholders show that 80% of the plastic found in the ocean comes from land sources (the rest is material that is either lost at sea such as commercial fishing nets/tackle or dumped intentionally as litter from boats and ships). Half of the plastic waste entering the world’s oceans comes from just five developing countries (China, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam). And a recent article published by the Daily Mail U.K. reports that 95% of the plastic pollution that makes its way into the world’s oceans travels through just ten rivers. Those rivers are the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai He, Pearl, Amur and Mekong in East Asia, the Indus and Ganges Delta in South Asia, and the Niger and Nile in Africa. From these ten tributaries the fugitive plastic is expelled into the sea where it becomes trapped in an endless spiral of gyres and currents and degrades into smaller and smaller particles until it eventually make its way into the aquatic food chain.
A systemic approach to this modern day challenge is long overdue. Leakage of waste into waterways and oceanbound plastics can be stemmed with new investment in modern infrastructure that allows innovation to blossom. The Plastics-To-Fuel solution developed by RES Polyflow provides a unique opportunity to create value for communities and regions across the globe that take on the grand challenge of managing their solid waste more effectively.