WE ARE OCEAN LEGACY: A FEDERALLY INCORPORATED, NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO ENDING PLASTIC POLLUTION. We are scientists, community organizers, lovers of nature and concerned citizens of the planet. Ocean Legacy was founded to give communities around the world the tools to clean up post-consumer plastic and recognize it as a valuable resource.
Our goal is to educate the public about the plastic crisis we face, and foster a global movement to end plastic pollution with dedicated, well-informed individual action. A lack of clear and accessible information about how plastics are made and the major health effects caused by consuming plastics is needed. We all want to make informed decisions about what we buy and how we dispose of our plastics, but this information can be hard to find. How is it made? What is it made of? How do we dispose of it? What impact does it have on the environment?
Ask yourself: How much do you really know about plastic?
Entire ecosystems have become uninhabitable due to this pollution, contributing to the destruction of marine life. Scientists estimate that nearly 700 marine species are threatened by the effects of plastic pollution, with 120 of them at risk of extinction.
Exposed to harsh sun, wind and water current, plastic begins to photodegrade and fragment, turning into smaller pieces. This leaches toxic chemicals, such as Bisphenol A (BPA), into the water. BPA has been linked to estrogenic hormonal imbalances in the body.
Fragmented pieces of plastic also act like a sponge, absorbing other toxic persistent synthetic system. Once eaten by wildlife, they accumulate in the fatty tissues of the body, a process called bioaccumulation. These compounds like Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT). These chemicals can cause abnormalities in liver function, skin and the nervous system. poisons can be present in the seafood that ends up on our dinner tables.
To make matters worse, most plastic is too dense to float. It’s estimated that 70% of the plastic that reaches the ocean sinks. There could be enough plastic waste sitting on the ocean floor to rival mountains on land.
Plastic pollution is a result of waste mismanagement. In many developed countries, governments have instituted recycling pro grams , however, many of these are ineffective and resort to shipping waste to other countries for land fill or
post -processing. It is estimated that even with expensive recycling programs in place, less than 10% of North America’s total plastic waste is actually recycled.
For years, wealthier countries have been paying to ship their waste to other developing nations. Many of these nations don’t have adequate infrastructure to manage these wastes – so it just ends up back in our environment. Tonnes of plastics are simply burned in an open pit. The United Nations estimates that between 22-43% of rural communities practice uncontrolled burning. This isn’t a solution – it spews more c@rbon dioxide and harmful dioxin substances into the air. The rest of the plastic waste ends up in landfills, city streets, the countryside and waterways.
Plastic from every country on Earth continues to make its way into our water, soil, and atmosphere.
PLASTIC POLLUTION KNOWS NO BORDERS. IT DOESN’T STAY IN ONE COUNTRY. WASTE MISMANAGEMENT AFFECTS THE ENTIRE PLANET. AS WE CONTINUE OUR SEARCH FOR WAYS TO RE-USE AND UPCYCLE PLASTIC WASTE, ONE GREAT INNOVATION IS THE PLASTIC EXPRESS.
Plastic is made out of oil and plastic materials can be converted back into a usable fuel using this technology.
Using heat decomposition , this technology gasifies plastic polymers inside an oxygen-free chamber. This process is called pyrolysis. Using differences in temperature, it then condenses the gases back into a mixed light crude oil, individual fuels or valuable chemicals. With this process, Ocean Legacy can produce a light crude oil or further refine it into diesel, petroleum and kerosene fuel. For every kilogram of plastic processed, we get roughly one litre of oil. Some of this fuel will go back into running the equipment and vessels we use, while the rest goes back to the community we’ve helped clean up.
Plastic-to-Fuel technology will help reduce our dependency on traditional oil extraction while we continue to develop renewable sources of energy.
80% of the world lives on less than $10 (USD) a day 21. Their thoughts are of survival, not pollution. Plastic-to-fuel technology provides a huge economic incentive for countries to develop their own plastic capture and waste management programs, as well as a way to fuel and fund initiatives that protect our environment.
We can make oil out of almost any plastic item and can upcycle resin code numbers 2, 4, 5 and 6.
Materials 1, 3 and 7 are harder to process as they’re often mixed compounds or contain substances that can’t be pyrolyzed effectively.
Many plastic-to-fuel machines are large in scale and heavy, making transportation impractical. Many communities don’t produce enough plastic or can’t afford their own plastic-to-fuel machine.
Therefore, we’ve partnered with the founders of Resynergi Inc and their team of engineers to custom-build a mobile machine that can travel to various communities and locations that need assistance to sustainably manage plastic wastes. We’re calling this mobile unit “The Plastic Express” – the first of its kind.
The Plastic Express is a pilot project intended to service coastal communities along parts of the Pacific Ocean. This program will help transform plastic waste into a valuable resource , giving these once worth less materials economic value. With this technology, we can fuel and sustain our efforts as well as create an economic incentive to cleanup the natural environment. We hope others will use our program as a model for similar marine debris post-processing systems across the world.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Sometimes, advice about minimizing pollution feels like another check-list and taking action as an individual can feel overwhelming. Many of us want to see a specific result but have no idea how to take steps to get there.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce your plastic consumption , the waste you create and how you can clean it up:
STOP PLASTIC WASTE: CHANGE THE CULTURE: HELP OCEAN LEGACY:
Reduce/Reuse/Repair/Recover/Recycle/Refuse/Rethink: The 8 Rs are simple and free ways to stop plastics from reaching the landfill! Cut as many “disposable”
single-use plastic items you can from your life – razors, bottles, containers, etc. For things you can’t give up, try to re-use them as long as possible. When they’re worn out, bring them to a dedicated recycling facility if possible.
Stay Curious – Before throwing something away, ask: “What happens to this item once it’s thrown away? Can it be turned into anything else7 How can I make this “garbage” into a resource? There are tons of life-hack tips on how to repurpose items for all kinds of everyday use.
Buy Green Products: Many companies are converting to bio-degradable plastic alternatives, or switching to greener materials like wood or paper. Purchasing these products demonstrates that you support their policies and better practices.
Don’t buy stuff with lots of packaging. Demand alternatives by providing feedback to places where you shop and manufacturers of the things you use.
Raise Awareness: Just talking about these issues and explaining the dangers will help the cause! Share on social media, engage with people who ask legitimate questions, and if you have any kind of audience – blog readers, video viewers, or twitter followers, let them know.
Vote Green: Choose politicians with pro-environmental policies. Vote in favor of initiatives and referendums that protect the environment. Make sure your elected officials know that the environment is a high priority for you. If they don’t listen, find politicians that will.
Volunteer: Many local initiatives need volunteers to help with every part of their work – spreading info, cleaning beaches, recycling plastic and morel Oceanlegacy.ca website has a global directory of var ious ocean conservation initiati ves. Find the one closest to you and contact them.
Make art out of the debris you collect.
Share your own solutions: Got ideas? Let everyone know. Share your upcycling and waste reduction ideas· in person or over the web.
Spread Our Message: Give this pamphlet to others, link them to our website, like and share us on Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media. Tell people about us – especially if they say they feel like they don’t know what to dol People can use this book to learn how to separate resin codes, get involved in plastic to fuel program ming and continue cleaning hotspot locations after we’re gone.
Report Hotspots: If you see plastic washing up on shore, or floating in the ocean, let us knowl Log on to oceanlegacy.ca and use our interactive map to add hotspots.
Donate: We are a federally incorporated non-profit organization, and we accept donations. Even if you can’t donate funds directly, we are always in need of non-perishable food items, first aid supplies, office supplies, fuel, and other in-kind donations.
Support Plastic to Fuel Technology: Spread the news to your friends, family, and co-workers. Get companies, non-profits, and other industries
involved in development and use of these machines. We need to spread this technology across the globe.
Start your own clean-up crew: Be the change you want to see in the world 1 You can pick up plastic waste anywhere you see it, anytime, and make sure it’s recycled.
Create your own plastic diversion program: If your community doesn’t recycle then create your own recycle zones. Check out our cut-out signs at the end of this book to get started. Talk with us about how to bring plastic to fuel technology to your community, or how to get connected to plastic recycling solutions.
CHANGE IS FOR ALL OF US Change is possible, but only if we come together across the globe, working towards a better future. Alone, we could never make this happen – but together, anyone and everyone can contribute to creating cleaner oceans. We need a worldwide effort – millions of hands, hearts and voices, all making changes to their local
wast e management systems and plastic consumption habits.
You don’t have to dedicate your whole life to it, but if everyone spent a few hours a week on reducing waste and cleaning up plastic , there would be a noticeable improvement. Looking ahead, we have the chance to make things better, or worse. Let’s leave a legacy we can be proud of!
Ocean Legacy will continue to build a healthier planet , for present and future generations. If you’d like to find out more, visit us at oceanlegacy.ca and get involved!