r/Futurology ∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥ Sep 23 '22 Silver 3 Helpful 3 Wholesome 4 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 2 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1

A Dutch NGO that has cleaned up 1/1000th of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, says its technology can scale up to eliminate it completely. Environment


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u/Waterwoogem Sep 23 '22

On beaches within the geographic area of the relevant Deltas. Which is why Slat and other individuals/companies tackling the same issue developed River based interceptors. Look at the OceanCleanup Channel on Youtube, its absolutely disgusting how much plastic is visible in the Guatemala videos. Of course, due to severe poverty, there is a lack of infrastructure to deal with waste, it is only with the help of international organizations that the issue gets solved. The Study the OceanCleanup is doing there is simply the first step of a solution, and hopefully it gets solved quickly.


u/YoungZM Sep 23 '22

It's not just an issue of poverty, I think. Poverty just doesn't have the benefit of common waste management.

Anecdotally, I live in a wealthy country in a wealthy province and every time I'm outdoors I see more plastic (and general trash) than I could ever hope to collect alone. Hiking, kayaking, scuba diving -- it's everywhere I go. At least when I recreationally engage I'm only just starting to take responsibility for what I'm seeing vs. what I'm there to enjoy.

The closest thing I think humanity will ever have to magic is waste management services. The most responsibility most of us have is putting waste out at the curb in a "we did our best to sort it" (results may vary) manner and it disappearing. We need to educate about a greater personal responsibility in preventing waste and materials from making it into our environment and really evaluating what the "3 R's" really mean. I find most of us who have the privilege to are only ever thinking of the last, rather than the first. I include myself heavily in that as I try to relearn basically everything and struggle to affordably retool my lifestyle which until recently focused on consumption rather than life-long or generational goods and simply less of those anyways.

At least I have optimism now knowing that I can be part of the solution, even if it feels a little low-impact at times.


u/Chaucer85 Sep 23 '22

and really evaluating what the "3 R's" really mean.

"Reduce" is a huge thing I have to remind people of, here in Texas. Even in places that brag about having green initiatives, they're still over-using materials then throw them away or maybe recycle them. But they shouldn't have been pulled to be used in the first place.


u/Big_Cryptographer_16 Sep 23 '22

Ngl I thought it was “Reading, Riting, and Rithmetics” at first. 70s/80s child and the 3 Rs meant that back then


u/abbeyh Sep 23 '22

That’s what it was in the 90’s too but I remember the change. My teacher in 1993 was reading riting rithmetic, but 1994 was reduce reuse recycle. I grew up in the south in the US which may have caused the message to reach us a little late, or maybe that’s when it really took off. At the time, in the suburbs, they didn’t offer recycling yet, but I remember we started to keep our own separated bins and would go to the Walmart which had these giant chain link boxes labeled “glass, plastic, metal, paper” and you would just hurl your bags over into it. It was a pain and there were enough bees there to fill a high school gym, but… we tried.