Innovative, ocean-borne plastic harvester is more important than ever as global demand for pollution solutions grow
Tehachapi, CA – April 22, 2022 -- Our Cleaner Planet, a Tehachapi startup with an innovative solution to eliminate plastic pollution from our planet, has continued to make progress on its ocean-borne plastic harvesting system. In the last few months, the company has completed successful tests of its second prototype, finalized the design and started development of its proprietary filtration system, and has begun filing an application for a second patent on the company’s ingenious plastic harvesting system.
Secondary efforts at the company have also begun to generate financial support as well as pursue unique income generating opportunities like plastic credits (similar to carbon credits). As a non-profit, Our Cleaner Planet is also investigating initiatives with plastic producers and product manufacturers to offset the proposed plastic tax initiatives that have been introduced here in the United States and other countries throughout the world.
Patrick Marshall, Our Cleaner Planet Founder, describes his solution as unique among others trying to tackle the plastic pollution problem in the ocean. His approach is a net zero solution that will harvest plastic in the ocean from macro- to micro-plastics all the way down to nano-plastics between 5 – 10 microns in size. This solution collects much smaller pieces and will collect it much more effectively, but this is not what makes it unique. Our Cleaner Planet’s solution will extract the plastic and remove it from the environment.
“For absolute clarification, our process eliminates the plastic completely,” declares Marshall. “No shipping waste back to shore, no trucking remnants to landfill, and no recycling into more plastic products. We eliminate the problem, not just transfer it or transform it into other plastic products.”
Marshall says that removing plastics from the oceans is only part of the solution. To address the land-based plastic pollution and recycling problems, the Our Cleaner Planet team is already looking into adapting their system. “Ideally, we halt the flow of discarded plastic and plastic pollution from ever reaching the ocean, but these are global efforts and will take many, many years,” he said. Things are looking up in this area.
Just last month, global awareness of the plastic pollution problem reached a peak as the overwhelming majority of member nations in the UN endorsed a resolution to end plastic pollution. “This is a great first step, but we all know how long these things take to get put into action. Plus, this resolution only addresses stopping the pollution, not cleaning up the mess,” he continued.
In the meantime, Marshall says we must develop ways to counter and correct the damage that is being done right now. There is urgent need as damage extends from the fragile ocean ecosystems to our global environment and all the way up the food chain to human ingestion. Recent media articles have highlighted the scientific findings of micro-plastics in the human body. However, not all this plastic comes from the ocean and Marshall adds that this is only a small example of the impact that plastic pollution has on our planet.
“Plastic pollution has a direct correlation to the increase in carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere,” he explains. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), when the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere goes up, temperature goes up. “Our oceans are the largest carbon sink in the world. The ocean ecosystem is responsible for removing more carbon from the atmosphere than all terrestrial plant life. The workhorses in this process are plankton and plastic pollution, and the toxicity generated and accumulated as it breaks down, significantly impacts the plankton populations in our oceans,” he described. Marshall points out that 50% of the world’s plankton have disappeared over the last 50 years, significantly reducing our planet’s natural ability to absorb and remove CO2 from our atmosphere.
That is why Marshall and the Our Cleaner Planet team are focusing on the ocean first. Plastic does not biodegrade. Instead, it breaks down into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces continue to get smaller and more toxic. Our Cleaner Planet’s ocean-borne, plastic debris harvesting process will much smaller plastics more effectively and at much deeper levels of the ocean. Effectively reducing the pollution and providing an opportunity for the ocean ecosystems to rejuvenate and restore their natural carbon absorption abilities.
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