Healthy oceans, healthy planet!
Healthy oceans, healthy planet!
Standing on the verge of an environmental catastrophe, we are here, once again to celebrate the World Oceans day. This year’s theme, which revolves around ‘Healthy oceans, healthy planet’ is focusing on arresting pollution of oceans by plastics.
Sliding down to the depth of an ocean, ‘the plastics’ have housed its stay and has been challenging the life of the marine animals for long now. Today, tonnes of plastics are found swimming in the ocean and makes about 40 per cent of the world’s ocean surface.
A recent report released by the Ellen McArthur Foundation has projected that by 2050 there will be more plastics than fish in the sea and seeing this danger of plastic pollution, several associations and fashion brands have come forward to stop this menace and have invented new ways to deal with the problem by introducing the concept of ‘Recycle, Reduce, Reuse’ in their value chain.
Last year, Adidas collaborated with a company called ‘Parley for the oceans’ and the outcome was the release of a pair of shoes made entirely of recycled ocean waste. This innovation of Adidas and Parley is made of PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), used commonly to make water bottles, and nylons from gill nets, retrieved from the coast of Africa. Parley for the oceans is an organisation that offers platform for the designers to focus on creating inventive sustainable products. Besides, other companies like Patagonia and Nike will start showcasing sleek, ocean-friendly designs soon.
In a revolutionary initiative, Pharrell Williams’ G-star Raw is transforming ocean plastics into clothes. It is turning ocean debris like Barbie dolls plastic bodies and cigarette lighters into denims. These denims are exclusively designed for men and women and the denim pullovers convey the message with a line–‘WTF are you doing to my oceans’. The message goes in sync with the theme and the cause.
In yet another initiative to rein in the pollution, SPARK, an award-winning international architectural and design consultancy firm is envisioning using part of the millions of tonnes of plastic waste dumped into the ocean every year to build a series of unusual architectural structures, right along the shoreline of the Singapore’s East Coast Park. The company is hoping to repurpose the ocean garbage into brightly coloured, solar-powered beach huts that will utilise high-density polyethylene plastic.
Another company, Unifi, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, produces 300 million pounds of polyester and nylon yarn annually from the plastic bottles. Unifi’s Repreve recycling center is a 50,000 square foot facility in Yadkinville, North Carolina, where plastic bottles, fiber waste and fabric scraps are recycled.
Embracing the concept of sustainability, one of the micro-breweries in Florida, Salt Water Brewery has developed edible six-pack rings as a replacement to the conventional beer-can rings pack that ends up in ocean. These digestible rings are biodegradable plastic and serves as food for the sea animals.
On the similar lines, the Austria-based Livin Studio researchers have created a technology in collaboration with Utrecht University called Fungi Mutarium, which can convert plastic wastes into edible fungal biomass or mushrooms and it can be used as an ideal food substitute for the sea animals.
Looking at the increasing use of plastic pollutants on a daily basis, which include coffee cups, plastic straws, plastic bags, face-wash with micro plastic beads and plastic spoons that are making their way to the food chain, it has become imperative that non-plastic options are created. For instance, Bakeys and KFC has set a good example by creating edible spoons, cups and bowls, that can be used in the place of plastic cups and bowls.