5 Mind-Blowing Solutions to the Global Plastic Pollution Plague


You might’ve heard that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Given the mind-boggling abundance of sea life, that projection may seem impossible, but as a global community we generate some 300 million tonnes of plastic each year, with eight million tonnes, or 5 trillion pieces, of that waste flowing into the ocean. The sheer size of the problem is overwhelming, but these 5 truly powerful ideas just might be the solutions we need to solve this crisis once and for all.

1. Convert Plastic Waste into Sustainable Biofuels

Canadian non-profit Oceans United has invented the iCAT-90, the world’s most unique ocean cleaning vessel with the capacity to turn up to 50 tons of unsorted plastic and biomass per day into 285 barrels of high-quality, ultra-low sulfur eco-diesel! Oceans United is currently raising the last $5 million to build their hybrid hydrothermal liquefaction vessel.

Visit our interactive global map to read the full story.

2. Capture Plastic Waste Before it Reaches the Ocean

Just 1,000 rivers around the world are responsible for 80% of the plastic pouring into our oceans. Dutch innovator Boyan Slat has created the solar-powered Interceptor, a floating device that captures and processes garbage before it reaches the seas. The 25-year-old university dropout founded The Ocean Cleanup and has already deployed the device in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Visit our interactive global map to read the full story.

3. Pave Our Roads Using Recycled Plastics

Working with a company called TechniSoil, the City of Los Angeles has been experimenting with innovative methods for paving thousands of miles of roads using repurposed plastics as a binder. The city’s first project is scheduled for later this year and will be located on First Street at Grand Avenue downtown.

Visit our interactive global map to read the full story.

4. A First-of-Its-Kind Recycled Brick Factory to Build Schools

UNICEF, in partnership with Colombian social enterprise Conceptos Plasticos, recently announced it had broken ground on a first-of-its-kind factory that will convert plastic waste collected in Côte d’Ivoire into modular plastic bricks. The easy-to-assemble, durable, low-cost bricks will be used to build 500, much-needed classrooms in the West African country.

Visit our interactive global map to read the full story.

5. Swap Plastic Waste for Food and Transportation

By attaching an economic value to collecting plastic litter and exchanging it for food and services, it’s possible to reframe the issue. Near Manila, Philippines, a program is available that allows residents to hand over their plastic trash in exchange for rice. Two kilograms of plastic waste can be exchanged for 1 kilogram of rice. In Rome, consumers who recycle empty plastic bottles earn credits toward free public transportation travel tickets.

Visit our interactive global map to read the full story.

At The Oxygen Project, we’re looking forward to the day when the scourge of plastic will be wiped off the face of the Earth. Until then, we’ve created an interactive map where you can explore the far-corners of the world through the lens of climate change. Visit www.theoxygenproject.com/map to learn more.

Eco-Warriors Around the World