Zero Waste News: Mutant Enzymes and Cool Tech to Save the Ocean from Plastic

Hey there!

Today, in the wake of World Ocean Day on the 8th of June, we bring you the tea on the best initiatives you can support and the incredibly cool tech (and mutant enzymes!) that they’re using. 

You have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating island twice the size of the state of Texas, that forms where ocean currents converge and merge their collective waste streams.

This is the biggest trash site on the planet but it is only one area of millions that house our waste in natural ecosystems.

It is estimated that more than 100 million marine animals die each year as a direct result of plastic pollution. The impact on marine life is huge but it also impacts human life in a myriad of ways.

So, what do we? How do we stop the endless stream of plastic entering the ocean and how do we remove the massive volume of plastic that is already in the ocean – without causing more damage in the process.

Answering this question is complex but there is hope in the form of ingenious solutions and incredible initiatives:  

Coca-Cola Becomes First Global Implementation Partner for The Ocean Cleanup’s River Project

Coca-Cola, the biggest plastic polluter in the world, has partnered with Ocean Cleanup to implement an innovative approach to stemming the flow of plastic into the ocean. A series of floating booms and barges channel plastic floating down rivers and heading for the ocean into a barge that scoops up the plastic so it can be sorted, recycled, and disposed of correctly. With the backing of Coca-Cola, they aim to install these barges in the 1000 most polluted rivers in the world and divert millions of tons of plastic!

Scientists Are Converting Used Plastic Bottles into Vanilla Flavouring

Used plastic bottles are the most commonly found plastic item in the ocean. Part of the problem is that they’re not recycled enough and don’t hold a high value as a recycled commodity. Scientists have found a way, using mutant enzymes from bacteria, to turn used plastic bottles into edible vanilla flavouring – a highly sought after and valuable commodity! Vanillin is currently made from chemicals derived from fossil fuels is used in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products and herbicides.

Cool inventions and tech can solve our problems but only if we support the organizations that make and implement them. 

Here are five great ocean saving initiatives to support:

1.       Ocean Cleanup

2.       Oceana

3.       Surfrider Foundation

4.       Five Gyres

5.       The Blu

You can support them by volunteering, donating, or even just following them on social media and sharing their content. Every voice helps so use yours to amplify their efforts!

As consumers, the plastic pollution problem is often in our hands too. Choose to live sustainably, say no plastic, reuse the plastic you can’t refuse, and recycle the plastic you can’t reuse!

Here are some resources to help you live more sustainably:

Best Reusable Grocery Bags: How To Shop With Zero Waste

Best Zero Waste Products On The Market Right Now

Eco-Friendly Toilets: The Full Guide to Eco-Friendly Flushing (2021)

Natural Living: The Simple Guide to Start Today [+ Free Resources]

Eco-Friendly Building Explained & 5 Mind-Blowing Examples (2021)

That’s it for today.

How will you support saving the ocean? 😊 Share your experiences with us by replying to this email – we love hearing from you!

Best,

Liza and Johanna