A plastic bottle is used for 15 minutes on average and takes about 200 years to decompose. About one million plastic bottles are sold in the world every minute. And only 9% of used plastic is recycled, 12% gets burned, and the rest ends up in garbage dumps or the ocean. Because of this we find it in our drinking water and in our bodies (and in the bodies of other animals too). And this is just one of the many types of pollution that is currently taking place on Earth. It seems it’s high time for each of us to think about how we can take part in saving our planet.
Here’s a list of successful ecological projects that have been created by people who care about the pollution problem. Perhaps, you have already taken part in it by throwing a plastic bottle into a special container or by bringing unnecessary things to a recycling center.
1- Footwear made from recycled plastic bottles
The Rothy’s shoe brand creates shoes from recycled plastic bottles. The most popular collection consists of colorful and washable flats which Meghan Markle put on during her recent visit to Australia. The company has already recycled 25 million plastic bottles.
2- Kids furniture made of broken plastic toys
A Dutch project called EcoBirdy creates furniture from broken and discarded kids toys. Apart from making furniture, the company has also launched an educational project about the harm done by plastic and has installed special containers in kindergartens where kids can leave their broken toys. The company has already recycled 25 tons of plastic toys.
3- This vending machine gives out animal food if you insert a plastic bottle into it.
The Turkish company called Pugedon makes vending machines for collecting plastic and glass bottles. This machine runs on solar energy and gives out dog or cat food for every bottle it gets.
4- Spray shower that saves 70% more water
An American company created a shower system that saves up to 70% more water than a normal showerhead. It was developed by the engineers from NASA, Tesla, and Apple and works using a method of spraying the tiniest drops instead of ordinary water flows. The invention has famous investors like Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple.
5- Plastic roads
PlasticRoad is a Dutch company that produces constructing modules from recycled plastic. It’s much easier and cheaper to build roads using these modules because they are lighter than asphalt and are easy to attach to each other. Moreover, they are empty inside, which makes it possible to lay pipes and cables through them. These roads can work for several decades, after which they can be disassembled and re-processed. The first bicycle road made of plastic modules has already been built in the Dutch city of Zwolle.
6- A trap for plastic in the ocean
The plastic floating in the ocean weighs as much as 1,000 Eiffel Towers and it could take as long as 79,000 years to collect it. The good news is that a 24-year-old Dutchman named Boyan Slat has created a litter trap. It is a floating U-shaped system that is able to catch plastic floating on the surface of the ocean. Slat hopes to catch all the ocean trash within 20 years with the help of these traps.
7- A floating off-shore city made of plastic trash
An Australian company called ’Freischärler’ came up with another method of fighting ocean pollution — a project to build a floating city out of ocean plastic with the help of 3D printers and drones. ’United plastic nation,’ which resembles an iceberg with a visible underwater section, will become an independent off-shore zone where plants will be grown with the help of the aquaponic method and where all trash will be recycled.
8- Newspaper wood
Dutch designer Mieke Meijer has always been perturbed by unsold newspapers because a lot of trees are cut down to produce them. That’s how and why he came up with the ’Newspaper wood’ idea — a material made from extruded old newspapers and organic glue that resembles wood in its appearance and strength. It can be sawed, polished, and drilled. Today, furniture and interior decorations are made using this brilliant material.
Which of these projects impressed you the most?