One of our greatest ecological challenges, in my estimate, is tackling the problem of plastic waste. The Earth simply can not sustain the levels of pollution generated by a material that can take anywhere from 80 (plastic cup) to one million (plastic jug) years to decompose. The stats are so grim for plastic waste that whenever I refresh on my numbers, I fall into a deep depression as I try to imagine the world just 50 or 100 years from now. According to the Institute for Sustainable Communication, plastic garbage in the ocean alone kills one million sea creatures a year; Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour; and Americans only recycle 1-2% of the 10.5 million tons of plastic waste generated annually.
Big Rope has a stranglehold on the ‘tying things down’ industry, and if you’re tired of paying through the nose for a few feet of twine, you’ll want to consider backing the Kickstarter campaign for this simple tool that can turn empty plastic bottles into super strong plastic rope. The aptly-named Plastic Bottle Cutter works the same as a similar device we featured a couple of years ago. You cut the bottom off of a plastic soda or water bottle, and the tool slices the rest it into a long thin strand of plastic that’s flexible enough to be used as a rope. Unlike the tool featured in the previous video, though, you don’t have to craft your own. The Plastic Bottle Cutter can be yours through a $9,000 Kickstarter campaign that’s already soared well past its funding goal. A donation of about $20 is all that’s needed to pre-order one of the tools, and they ship in June. There are always risks when supporting a Kickstartered project, but there are no electronics here that need to be affordably sourced, and no software that needs to be perfected before it can be shipped. The device looks as simple to make as it is to use. And if you need any other justification, besides saving money on rope, you’re also genuinely recycling and helping the planet.
Topics: Recycling Plastic
Sometimes great discoveries happen by complete accident. Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming when he accidentally left a petri dish out in his laboratory in 1928, for instance. And now an unintended discovery by English scientists who were trying to solve the world's trash problem might make it a lot easier to dispose of plastic waste. How? By feeding it to a hungry enzyme that evolved in a dump and was accidentally improved in a laboratory. No, this isn't Little Shop Of Horrors, 21st-century style; this is real life.
Have you heard of Upcycled clothing...? Well, it's a new trend taking the clothing industry by storm. Companies are jumping at the bit to take plastic trash from the ocean and turning it into shirts!
A Stockholm-based fashion brand, Grant, has launched a new "Beacons Project," consisting of creating a new line of shirts made using upcycled plastic salvaged from the ocean by fishermen in the Mediterranean. The initiative will see them partner with Seaqual, a fiber brand that upcycles plastics collected from the sea to make a polyester filament.
Through their Beacons Project they are launching an entirely new process of creating products with a conscious, sustainable approach, which they will hopefully grow and evolve over time. "We're determined to take responsibility and to do our part to make our planet better because the ocean's business is everyone's business."
The shirts resulting from the initiative will span menswear and womenswear, with options for women including a "Bio Oxford Popover Shirt" featuring a flared sleeve, and a "Bio Chambray Shirt" in a button-down style. Men will also get a "Bio Chambray Shirt" with a box pleat, and a "Bio Indigo Chambray" made using only indigo dye. All shirts in the series will feature buttons and packaging made from recycled materials.
Topics: Recycling Plastic