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Oceans of Room for Improvement

Science and human ingenuity are working overtime to find ways to help reduce waste and, in turn, our footprint on the planet.

Oceans of Room for Improvement

As World Environment Day falls on June 5, it is worth noting that science and human ingenuity are working overtime to find ways to help reduce waste and, in turn, our footprint on the planet.

PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, is one of the world’s most problematic plastic pollutants. More than 56 million tonnes is manufactured annually and much of it ends up in the ocean. One recent discovery by Japanese researchers that may help is a bacterium that seems to feed exclusively on PET. The species, Ideonella sakaiensis, which must have evolved since this plastic was invented in the 1940s, will hopefully lead to new ways of breaking down PET.

Two Australian surfers have come up with another solution to help reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up in the world’s ocean which, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum, will contain more plastics than fish by 2050. These two Aussies have come up with an innovation that is bound to help stop that from happening, called the Seabin.

Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski’s water-filtering Seabin system is designed to be used in marinas and ports to capture plastic, paper, oil, fuel, detergent and other garbage. Fitted with a natural fibre bag liner, the chrome bin sits partially submerged in the water, its water pump sucking water and pollution into the bin. The liner catches the garbage, while the water drains through a pipe at the bottom and is forced through an oil-water filter. The best bit? The waste collected will be used to make more bins

Ways to help on World Environment Day

Bin it

Plastic bags and other rubbish thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year so think before you let it sink.

Plant a tree

A single 30 metre tall mature tree can absorb 22.7 kilograms of carbon dioxide in a year.

Paper trail

Paper can only be recycled six times, so before you put it out for recycling, reuse envelopes and any scrap paper you have.

 

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