Rethinking Waste
Plastic Oceans
Rethinking Waste

Clean Our Oceans: The Impact Of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Learn how marine debris and pollution consisting mostly of plastic trash is accumulating in oceans around the world. From the surface of the ocean, you might not even realize that a vast garbage patch swirls under the water. With ever-changing content and borders, scientists have difficulty estimating the size of these garbage patches. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch exists in the northern Pacific Ocean, stretching between Japan and the United States.

Special thanks to David, a Colorado middle school science student, who found this great resource for a project involving learning about pollution, recycling and sustainability and special thanks to his teacher Alison Bentley for reaching out. Super happy the students are enthusiastic about conservation, preserving our oceans and freshwater...and making a difference. Good work everyone!.

Upcycling, Recycling
Rethinking Waste

Plastic Is Forever

Barbara de Vries, a fashion and jewelry designer is raising awareness about marine debris by using the beach plastic she finds along Bahamian beaches in her designs. Her objective is to remove beach plastic pollution off the beaches and re-cycle it into fashionable, designer products like jewelry, objects for the home like tiles, countertops, chairs, bowls and use it as embellishment on clothes.

To inspire and educate she travels the Bahamas, Florida and Caribbean to teach workshops in local communities on staging beach clean ups and using pieces of beach plastics suitable for jewelry that can be sold to tourists.


TerraCycle is on a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. They do this by creating waste collection programs (each one is called a "Brigade") for previously non-recyclable, or difficult-to-recycle, waste. The collected waste is then converted into new products, ranging from recycled park benches to upcycled backpacks. TerraCycle's team of scientists and designers have found ways to recycle and upcycle the waste they collect into cool new products.

This site is full of great resources to help families learn more about green energy, how to recycle, and what to do with a used plastics. One of the easiest ways for kids to help is learning how to recycle. There are things that you can do at home, at school, or even while spending time in the backyard that can help conserve energy, reduce waste, and ensure that we take good care of the environment. A lot of the items that you use every day can be turned into something useful when recycled. From the milk cartons or jugs in the fridge to papers from school, you can collect these items and turn them in to a recycling center to go green! Plastic bottles can be made into lawn furniture. Some milk jugs can get a new life by being made into things to play on at a local playground. But there is more to do than just recycling. Turning off the lights when you leave the house can reduce energy costs. Some families start composting. This means they take things like grass clippings and leftover food and turn them into mulch to keep plants thriving. You can make a real difference in your environment!

Rethinking Waste
Rethinking Waste

MBA Polymers

MBA Polymers is the world leader at producing post-consumer recycled plastics from end-of-life durable goods. Their pure, consistent, and reliably available materials provide customers cost advantage and price stability. They source 100% post-consumer feedstock diverted from landfill or incineration and save over 80% of the energy and 1-3 tons of CO₂ for each ton of virgin plastics we replace.

Alliance Recycling

Alliance Recycling's recovery of recyclable materials from the waste stream has yielded substantial environmental and economic benefits to the greater community.

In 2008, this community effort reduced 15,452 tons of waste going to landfills, which saved:

21,158 trees
43,608,000 pounds of natural resources
1,735,258 gallons of oil
8,712,078 gallons of water
14,985,824 pounds (7,493 tons) of CO2 from going to our environment!
That's the equivalent of more than 120% of the average waste generated by a population the size of West Oakland in one year!

Let's Do It! World

Let's do it! World is a civic movement with a goal is to make this planet clean and healthy again!

The movement started in 2008 in a little country called Estonia, where 50 000 people came together to clean up 10 000 tons of illegal garbage in just 5 hours. By now more than 2 million volunteers have participated in cleanup actions in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, India, Slovenia, Serbia, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, Cambodia, Russia, Hungary and Brazil. More cleanups are being prepared in new countries for 2012.

Plastic Pollution Coalition

Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses and policy-makers working together to to raise awareness and improve understanding of the complex problem of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment. Plastic Pollution seeks to put plastic pollution at the forefront of global social, environmental and political discourse and create solutions; pursuing these solutions relentlessly, with a sense of utmost urgency.

To achieve its mission, Plastic Pollution Coalition has defined the following strategic goals:

End the global dependence on disposable plastic, the primary source of plastic pollution;
Reduce the overall global plastic footprint for individuals, businesses and organizations.

Reuse This Bag

Disposable bags may seem convenient but have proven to be a huge source of pollution. According to research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, somewhere between five hundred billion and one trillion disposable bags are used each year around the world. Plastic bags, while only used for an average of about twelve minutes, remain in landfills, oceans, and other places for thousands of years.

While plastic pollution continues to be a huge problem globally, there are some steps being taken to reduce the use of disposable bags. Many individuals and businesses have begun switching to reusable bags in an effort to save money and protect the environment. Many places are also beginning to create laws that either ban plastic bags entirely or place a fee on them, and these laws have proven to be effective in reducing plastic bag pollution. With more laws being enacted and the shift to reusable bags continuing, plastic pollution can be decreased. To learn more about plastic pollution, consult the resources listed on this site.

Thanks to student Emma Hunter for submitting this great resource!

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