Nowadays plastic pollution has become a huge environmental issue and it has caused lots of damage on our health, food and environment. According to National Geographic, around 18 billion pounds of plastic waste is released in the oceans. This equals to five grocery bags piling up on every foot of coastline on the entire planet.
That amount of plastic is causing the most harm to the marine creatures, such as turtles that gag on straws, whales that starve because their bellies are full of plastic pieces, and coral reefs that are piled with plastic. New research has shown the devastating long-term effects of small plastic pieces on the marine life raising new questions about how it will eventually affect human health and food safety.
Around 40% of the entire plastic production is used for packaging which is usually used only once and afterwards it ends up in the trash. Less than 1/5 of all the plastic is recycled even though lots of countries and businesses are trying to find ways to make this number bigger.
One of those countries is Australia, particularly the city of Kwinana which installed an innovative, simple and very helpful filtration system in the Henley reserve. The system includes a net that is placed on the outlet of drainage pipes which then stops large debris from going into the water.
The pipe prevents the waste water from residential areas to litter natural areas thus helps preserve the environment. Trash is also often washed away by rain, but the drainage system nets are here to prevent it from polluting the nature.
The authorities of Kwinana started by installing two nets that caught more than 800 pounds of garbage within just a few weeks. So, they decided to place those nets all around the city thus reduce the pollution to the surrounding environment and protecting the wildlife. The cost of manufacture and installation of the nets is around $10,000 per net, however if we consider the long-term effects the overall system is more than profitable and beneficial.
Once the nets are full, the trash is placed in garbage collecting trucks which then bring it to a trash-sorting center where it gets separated into recyclable and non-recyclable waste. The nets are then returned on the drainage outlets. This innovation is proof that sometimes the solution is simple enough, and doing small things every day can bring amazing results in the end.