Plastic is light, cheap and useful. But the impacts of plastic waste on the environment and our health are global and can be drastic. Around 80% of marine litter is composed of plastic, often affecting marine life and birds. Today, we are using a material designed to last for hundreds of years for products that we sometimes only use for minutes. Urgent change is needed in how we design, produce, use and dispose of plastic products.
The annual plastic production has increased 50 million metric ton in 1970, to 200 million metric ton in the late 1990s, to 400 million metric ton in 2015. This is exponential. Marine plastic pollution has impacted at least 267 species worldwide, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. The impacts include fatalities as a result of ingestion, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning, and entanglement.
Because persistent organic pollutants in the marine environment attach to the surface of plastic debris, floating plastics in the oceans have been found to accumulate pollutants and transport them through ocean currents. Floating and migrating plastic debris has also been found to transport invasive marine species. Increasingly, research shows that marine life that ingests plastics coated with pollutants can absorb these pollutants in their bodies.
Of all the plastic that was ever existed: more than half was produced in the last 15 years and 91% has never been recycled.
SIMocean has been founded to help fight this enormous issue. At SIMocean we aim to create a “360” approach to tackle the problem. Our „360 approach“ includes the following:
- Collect : Set up litter traps in the rivers and collect the plastic
- Recycle & Reuse : Recycle the plastic waste to utilities such as bricks
- Marketplace : Propose a business plan to market the created products
- Raise Awareness : Create consciousness and educate people about the plastic pollution in the oceans / rivers
- Sustainable : Establish strong connections with local communities and add new initiatives on a yearly basis.
Together with Clear Rivers and our local Malaysian partner organisation FAB we help a village in Borneo, which is facing substantial plastic pollution issues. Through river barriers, we prevent the plastic to even reach the ocean. The plastic that is caught through the river barriers is then upcycled and processed to marketable products that can not only help the local community to tackle more rivers but also support local education. This way, the quality of life of the community is enhanced and younger generations have the chance for decent living standards.