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Clear plastic bottle with black plastic rope around the neck floating under blue water behind white test with white background black nup logo
Heard about the ocean cleanup? In 2013, the attempt to clean massive patches of plastic in the ocean officially began. Just recently, Mission One from the Great Pacific Patch was completed and the first 'plastic catch' reached the shores of Vancouver, Canada. The next great step is to create 'something' of value from this debris. It may be hard to imagine a product made from plastic taken out of the ocean, but there is no limit to man's creativity. Will it be some accessory? some art? something practical?- We don't know yet. What we do know is that all proceeds go to funding the project. Hey, with the Great Pacific Patch the size double of the state of Texas, there will be plenty to go for everyone.
This 'pollution to product' idea is a great example of a circular economy. The circular economy is a regenerative approach where resources (like plastic) are not considered 'disposable' but rather a resource that can be used even after its first life. For many years we've been designing, moulding and using plastic only for its first intended use. After it no longer serves its first purpose, we dispose of them without a second thought. It's only when we started seeing plastics not decomposing and returning to earth, washing up to our oceans and killing our animals, we realized that they hang around earth for hundreds of years!
If we think of plastics of resource, we will probably think twice about how we make them and how we 'dispose' of them. Plastics are a product of earth's natural resources, which is finite. When we think of plastics as a finite resource, we would will make the switch to rapidly renewable natural resources. Bamboo is one very good example.
With the rising popularity of plastic free solutions, the rise of bamboo hair brushes, bamboo tooth brushes and more, it's providing consumers with more choices.
With all these plastics retrieved from the ocean, we are taking back this resource previously thought of as waste, now becomes something of value.
Let's hope the we can continue cleaning this mess so the next generation won't have to inherit it. That's some good news for today.

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