We live in a world where cars drive themselves and robots make hair appointments while at the same time 13 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year – the equivalent of a rubbish truck dumping one full load into the ocean every minute. Negatively affecting the ocean, marine life, oceanic birds – me and you.
What can technology do?
Every company is striving to adopt digital technologies to transform the way they do business. Digital technology holds the promise for a more connected, automated world and it is time we started using it for the betterment of our Earth.
Ocean Clean Up
The world has evolved and technology with it too so why can’t we use technology to combat oceanic plastic waste? That is exactly what the innovators at RanMarine Technology, based in the Netherlands, were thinking when they developed the intelligent WasteShark powered by autonomous #drone technology – a simple concept with extraordinary results. Mimicking the Whale Shark in its natural habitat, the WasteShark sucks up any plastic debris floating in ports and harbours before it has a chance to be swept out into the ocean.
Plastic Free Packaging
The same can be said for LUSH, U.K. handmade cosmetics company, where currently over 40% of their products are plastic free. Sold in their “naked” form, they contribute to saving nearly 6 million plastic bottles a year! LUSH took a step further by creating 100% plastic free stores in Milan, Berlin and Manchester where LUSH eliminated the need for plastic packaging through the Lush Lens app powered by Tensorflow from Google – providing all the information a customer needs while sticking to their #plastic free promise.
But there are other and more simpler ways you can tackle plastic waste in your day-to-day lives, and you don’t have to be a big company to make a difference.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Plastic pollution not only negatively affects the ocean and marine life but affects the rest of the world too. More plastic waste filling up our already overflowing rubbish dumps create a breeding pit for diseases and infection – making it more challenging for government to provide accessible and affordable healthcare, negatively affecting quality of life for all.
How can you make a difference?
If you can’t reuse it, refuse it! The Plastic Free July movement centred around the notion that anyone can make a difference in their own way by committing to refuse single-use plastics gained traction around the world. Here’s how you can make a difference not only during #PlasticFreeJuly but every day of your life.
Refuse the top 4 single-use plastic items:
- Take-away coffee cups and cutlery
- Single-use plastic bags
- Plastic water bottles
- Plastic straws
We can use technology to combat plastic waste but if we really want to make a dent in the plastics pollution conundrum, it is going to take more than a robotic drone – it is going to take a conscious and collaborative human effort. Starting with a mindset shift and a passion for sparking real change – and remembering that we are not doing this for our generation, we are doing this for generations to come.