I am sure you all have seen those heart-sickening pictures of dead albatrosses on the beaches of the Galapagos Islands. Between what remains from their deck of feathers, plastic bottle caps are bulking out of their stomachs. The issue of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is reaching alarming rates with far-reaching impacts. It seems that finally, the issue has reached the greater public thanks to mind-boggling footage in documentaries like the Plastic Ocean, and the renowned BBC series Blue Planet II. Better late than never. If the little sea turtles tangled up in an abandoned fisher net didn’t pull you over the line, the danger of microplastics building up in the fish on your plate surely should get you onboard the fight against ocean plastics. But you might be wondering… where to start?
I am currently enjoying my holidays in Estepona in the South of Spain. Besides an appealing beach and promenade, this picturesque town on the Mediterranean coast is home to a sports and fishing port. It all looks Instagram-proof, but upon closer inspection, one cannot neglect the amounts of trash floating in the harbor. At the pier, a seagull on the hunt for food tries to crack open a beer can washed ashore. Spots of oil form a thin layer on the water here and there. Not a pretty sight.
Estepona is not alone, around the world marinas have to deal with litter for which humans are to blame. They are the symptom of a much larger problem that most of us never get to see: the pollution of our planet’s oceans on a massive scale. Luckily, two Australian surfers have come to rescue. The result is the Seabin, an invention that holds the middle between a waste bin and vacuum cleaner. But for the oceans, mind you.