Australia Found a Way to Save Water From Plastic Pollution and We Can Start Doing the Same
“Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean from coastal regions. That’s about equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet.
All that plastic is causing harm to the creatures that live in the ocean, from coral reefs smothered in bags, to turtles gagging on straws, to whales and seabirds that starve because their bellies are so jammed with bits of plastic that there’s no room for real food.
New research is emerging apace about the possible long-term impacts of tiny pieces of plastic on the marine food chain—raising fresh questions about how it might ultimately impact human health and food security.
About 40 percent of all plastic produced is used in packaging, and much of that is used only once and then discarded. Less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled, though many countries and businesses are trying innovative solutions to increase that number.”
This summer, the authorities from the Australian city of Kwinana installed a new, incredibly simple, and highly beneficial, filtration system in the Henley Reserve. Namely, a net is placed on the outlet of a drainage pipe which catches large debris and thus prevents contamination of the environment.
The pipes drain water from residential areas to natural areas, so the litter and trash from there can harm the environment. Also, they are often washed away by heavy rains, which pull the trash down to the drainage systems.
At first, the city authorities installed two nets, which managed to catch over 800 pounds of garbage within several weeks. Therefore, they decided to install such litter “traps” all over the city and reduce the pollution to the wildlife and surrounding environment.
Their installation and manufacture are costly, (about $10,000 per net), but the overall system is still quite profitable since it provides significant cost savings.
The nets are lifted when full, and the trash is thrown into special garbage collecting trucks which are brought to a trash-sorting center, where it is separated into non-recyclable and recyclable material. Afterward, the nets are put back on the drainage outlets.