More Plastic Than Fish – Scientists Turn Ocean Waste Into Clean Fuel

According to a warning from the United Nations we are only around 30 years away from the world’s oceans being filled with more plastic than fish.

Yes, you heard correctly, the United Nations are telling us that there will soon be more plastic than fish in the two-thirds of our planet that is made up of ocean.

every man, woman and child on the planet collecting … each year … 181 plastic shopping bags … then throwing them into the sea

The official estimate is that we end up adding an extra 8 million tonnes of plastic in to the sea each year. To put this into context, that is like every man, woman and child on the planet collecting a kilogram (or 2.2 pounds) of plastic rubbish each year – say in the form of 181 plastic shopping bags – and then throwing them into the sea.

That is probably the most sobering and shameful example of just how badly managed the resources of our planet have been used – and how completely unaware most people are as to how damaging we have become to ourselves and the rest of the world.

The cost to undue this mess is so large, and would need such intricate global co-ordination and partnership between nations, that the solutions might look impossible.

However, humanity, as dumb as it may be for a lot of the time, does have an incredible ability to turn things around.

One such possible ‘turning around’ may come from the work of Linda Wang and her team at Purdue University College of Engineering in West Lafayette, Indiana (which is a good 650 miles or 1046 km from the ocean).

The team have devised a new chemical conversion process that can transform certain types of waste plastics found in the sea into various more useful things most notably, clean energy.

Here’s hoping it takes a lot sooner than thirty years to see their hard work being used to help clean the seas.