Getting rid of microplastic: the problem and possible solutions
by Jason Hyde on Jun 24, 2021
Are we ever getting rid of plastic?
The answer is a promising no, because of the existence of microplastics.
These tiny plastic particles make their way up the food chain and have been found in things humans eat. Even our bodies have been polluted by microplastics.
According to Bloomberg Green’s website, “new research put together by Nikoleta Bellou at the Institute of Coastal Research Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon is the most comprehensive analysis of sea-cleaning solutions to date. It’s an unprecedented compendium of data that concludes that the approach of cutting single-use plastics from our daily lives is not enough." We must start finding efficient ways to clean up what’s already been put out there while working towards ending the continuing waste.
The numbers are outstanding: “As many as 91 million metric tons of litter entered the oceans between 1990 and 2015, as much as 87% of which was plastic, according to the research. An estimated 5.25 trillion particles of litter are currently floating in the oceans.”
Although it wasn’t until 2016 that solutions to address the problem really took off, the problems created by plastics in the oceans were very well known. Bellou and her colleagues analyzed countless methods and most of them were dedicated to monitoring with only a small percentage built to do some cleaning.
For companies like Jason Hyde that are working hard to make an impact, and repurposing the plastics fished out of the ocean to make quality products, efficient cleaning-up systems are key. This is why the latest plastic-picking drones fill us with hope.
Some are floating drones resembling whale sharks and another of the new innovations is a four-wheeled robot that looks a lot like the Mars rover. Hopefully, the cleanup starts in no time, and we can finally start getting rid of plastic.