After 12 months of research and working with a team of over 100 people, Boyan Slat gave his eagerly awaited second TEDx Talk in New York to present the results of his extensive research and development program this far to solve the oceans plastic pollution problem.
As we all know and hate the fact that humans have undeniably been the prime cause of the oceans plastic pollution. In order to preserve our oxygen and life sustaining cycles we need to start with the health of the ocean. This has become a problem that we must address in order to preserve ourselves and future generations.
Millions of tons of plastic have entered the oceans
Plastic concentrates in five rotating currents, called gyres
In these gyres, there is on average six times more plastic than zooplankton by dry weight
8 million tons of plastic is introducing into our life-giving ocean every single year. Much of this plastic is carried by ocean currents and has been accumulating in 5 major areas.
Around 5.25 trillion plastic pieces are floating around in our oceans. One Third of the plastic is concentrated in what has been named the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
That means that in the middle of the ocean there is a floating island of trash. If we don’t do something soon, such as this clean up system then there will continue to be consequences.
100 thousand marine mammals and 1 million seabirds die every single year because of the plastic pollution. The longer term survival of at least 100 different species of animal including the Loggerhead Turtle and Hawaiian Monk Soal depends on our ability to clean up the ocean plastic.
The plastic is also threatening various natural ecosystem and is carrying harmful and invasive species.
In our world, the plastic pollution is causing around $13 billion of damage every year to the fishing, shipping, tourism and local clean up industries. The US West Coast is spending around $500 million every year just to clean up the beaches. To clean up the beaches, it costs anywhere from $1,500 to $25,000 per ton of trash.
PCB and DDT are toxic chemicals that are absorbed and concentrated around a million times in the oceans plastic. Unfortunately, the plastic and toxins are eaten by the wildlife and causing fish and other sea animals to become toxic and sick. Even the fish we eat could easily be poisoned which will increase our person risk of malformation, impaired reproductive systems, and cancer.