Stopping ocean plastic

Published on August 29, 2021   31 min

Other Talks in the Series: The Purpose Economy

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I'm Shaun Frankson, the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for the PlasticBank. This is a talk on "Stopping Ocean Plastic" through a purpose economy.
A lot of people have started talking about how do we stop ocean plastic, it's becoming this problem. We're seeing more plastic in the ocean than fish. Now, people using metaphors of 'plastic the size of Texas' and it's really become something on a lot of people's mind. I think one of the big issues when we looked at it, when people call it an ocean plastic problem, we stop taking accountability and stop realizing that it's a human problem. A human problem is something we can solve and before we look at scooping plastic out of the ocean, we really started to look at a root cause of how could we turn this into a human problem?
For us, it all started with a metaphor of if you walk into a kitchen and the sink is overflowing, water pouring on the floor and all you have is a bucket, mop and a plunger, what do you first? The answer is simple, you need to turn off the tap. When it comes to ocean plastic, we started to explore how could we turn off the tap, not just as individuals, but as an entire culture?
We started to look at the root cause of where's ocean plastic coming from, discovered that 80 percent of ocean plastic starts on land in developing countries where there's almost no waste management systems. This is a picture I took in Peru where as soon as it rains, this plastic will go into the river and flow into the ocean.
This is Manila Bay in Southeast Asia in the Philippines where one of the largest polluting areas of Southeast Asia, where there's minimal waste management systems and just a ton of plastic flowing in and this is a picture I took in Haiti.