Plastic debris on pristine coasts, particularly island coasts, has been worrying sailors for decades. Now some old salts have got together and come up with a method of removing a good bit of it. We have called it the Island Plastics Project
. Very briefly, it is modelled on the copra industry of days gone by and involves islanders collecting plastic from their coasts and villages and bringing it to collection points. We pick it up there, pay them or trade
goods for it and transport it to a facility on the main island of the group and recycle it. The new and underlying process which makes this possible is converting plastic back to the oil
it was made from using a process called Pyrolysis then distilling that oil
, kerosine and gasoline. We hope the economics of this will make it a sustainable business in the long run but our trial is strictly not for profit and run by volunteer sailors.
We are still conducting a feasibility study and need information about the amount and type of plastic debris and litter present on island beaches. We hope that we can get some of the cruising community to help us gather this information while you are doing your beach combing or stretching your legs ashore. What we would like is photos of typical stretches of island shoreline of all types - windward, leeward, lagoon
, village beach etc - with their lat/long then an associated photo
from each of the amount of plastic debris you were able to pick up in 15 minutes. If you are able to rinse it clean then weigh it that adds more information but is not essential. Any island anywhere will add to our understanding but we are focussing on Pacific Islands for our trial.
Would anyone who is interested to help please reply to this post or my private message box.
I am happy to provide more detail (there is lots more detail!) on request and to discuss it in this thread if anyone has questions or comments.
Thanks for taking the time to read this through and think about it.