The Ocean Cleanup

Readers of this blog may have heard of this “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” It’s actually two regions in the Pacific Ocean where the ocean currents are collect and “round up” so to speak the various floating plastics and other man-made debris gets washed off, tossed off, drained away, and generally discarded on land and somehow makes their way into the ocean and ocean currents.

ALmost 10 years ago, I heard a Ted Talk of a young environmentalist seeking to change and clean up the oceans. From time to time in the past 10 years, I heard about his successes and failures in the news but much of that news was drowned out by COVID19. Late last year, I read an article that demonstrated the successes of one of his systems. After many years of not seeing/reading updates, I read through and watched quite a few of the Ocean Cleanup YouTube videos. It turns out the Ocean Cleanup has been busy not only developing more efficient systems to clean up the garbage but also on ways to recycle and reuse the recovered plastic into more interesting things. One of these reuses is to make sunglasses and sunglass container.

This effort to clean up the garbage is admirable. To support this project, I paid and recieved these $199 sunglasses. Are they expensive? Yes… but instead of thinking how expensive it is… I’d like to frame it as paying to clean up the plastics in the ocean while also paying to fund alternative methods to resuse the plastics collected. These sunglasses show that the technology exists to reuse discarded plastics. The biggest issue now is to be able to scale up the process enough so that this Ocean Cleanup is self-sustaining to support itself. I bet the founders would love to tell people that they have recycled/reused all the plastics in the world and there is no longer any more plastics to recycle and reuse.

One man’s trash is another man’s $199 treasure….

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