Plastic pollution is becoming a big threat to the environment. Plastic is non-biodegradable. This means that it can settle on the ground or water bodies for many years than other types of trash. When the plastic debris breaks down into microplastics, it can cause issues to human health, aquatic life, and the marine ecosystem.
For instance, animals that live in the sea can ingest microplastics which can cause death. Also, when plastics settle in the ocean, they can prevent sunlight from reaching the ground. This hinders the growth of marine plants.
Experts estimate that the largest number of sea animals have consumed plastic. But the good thing is that there are many scientific solutions to plastic pollution that you can implement to conserve the environment.
The best thing you can do to protect the land and waterways is to eliminate plastic from the waste stream. With this, the waterbodies will be free from plastics.
Here Are 4 Vital Scientific Solutions to Plastic Pollution
1. Convert plastic into fuel
Millions of plastics are produced each day. And only a few of the plastics are recyclable. This makes the landfills and ocean become swamped by plastics. As you are aware, plastic does not decay. Thus, pollution can become a big issue for the generation to come.
Thanks to the Australian company Licella Holdings which has introduced a new technology of converting plastics into fuel. The Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR), the new technology, helps to convert unrecyclable plastics into oil.
Besides, you can use different techniques of conversion at home or in commercial institutions. For instance, you can use the pyrolysis method. This approach is effective and does not generate harmful pollutants. It involves heating the plastic at very high temperatures, and you can extract fuels like kerosene, diesel, gasoline, and toluene.
2. Use of a plastic-eating enzyme
Plastic pollution has affected the whole planet, and people and animals are likely to eat or breathe the microplastic. But the good thing is that scientists have introduced a super-enzyme that can eat plastics. This enzyme can break down the commonly used plastic (Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)), making recycling easier.
This new discovery can help you aim for a pollution-free future. But how can you recycle plastic using the plastic-eating enzyme? You can consult your local recycling center to see whether they can accept your plastic materials. It is advisable to collect all the plastic containers and forward them to the recycling center to hinder them from getting into the waterways.
3. Ocean clean-up
Environment clean-up is a good way of eliminating plastics from the ground and water bodies. Dutch CEO Boyan Slat, a Dutch inventor, came up with an organization of a large group of people to remove plastics from the Great Pacific garbage patch using system 001.
This system consists of long floating structures designed to collect microplastics that can be dangerous to marine life. Due to this, the scientists created solutions for cleaning rivers and beaches to keep plastics out of the sea.
Hence, a good way of fighting ocean plastic pollution is by participating in local organization clean-up or international clean-up events. Also, you can decide to collect plastics on the beach or waterways on your own or with friends.
4. Magnetic coils
Visible plastics are not the only products that are polluting the environment. Microplastics with less than 5mm have been found to pollute the ocean.
This made experts at Adelaide and Curtin University in Australia invent a tiny magnetic coil that targets microplastics in the sea. The coil creates oxygen molecules that attack the plastics while breaking them down.
Besides, the scientific advised people to avoid items that contain microbeads. When you use things such as toothpaste and body wash that contain microbeads, they can enter the ocean through the sewer system, which can affect marine life.
Although experts can help break down the microplastics using magnetic coils, it is good to ensure that plastic materials do not get into the waterways. In this case, it is best to look for polyethylene or polypropylene on the label of your cosmetics products to be sure that you are not using products with microbeads.
FAQs on the Scientific Solutions to Plastic Pollution
What are the scientists doing to reduce plastic wastes?
It is likely that you have heard about the plastic issue in the world. In fact, the UK government banned the use of plastic straws, plastic cotton buds, and plastic bottles.
Despite this, other countries are still using plastics that, if not recycled, can remain on the ground for many years. Because of this, scientists have invented new ways to reduce plastic wastes. They have created approaches such as:
Besides, scientists are always encouraging humans to participate in clean-up events. They also spread the word to make others aware of the plastic pollution issue and the solutions to implementing it.
What are the improvements made in recycling plastics?
Scientists are coming up with innovative ideas for recycling plastics. The innovation of breaking down the plastics into molecules and producing new plastics is one technique of advanced recycling.
Here are more innovations for recycling plastics
How can you prevent plastic pollution in the sea?
As you are aware, sea clean-up is an expensive project. Thus, it is best to ensure that the plastic items do not find their way into the ocean. In this case, you need to implement practices such as:
Plastic pollution is creating an impact on the environment. And if this continues, there will be more plastics than marine life.
But if you implement the scientific solutions to plastic pollution, there will be a better life for the sea animals and human health. Also, there will be fewer carbon dioxide emissions that are produced during plastic production.