As a non traditional student, I found myself returning to school after a decade being a health insurance agent. My passion for our planet re-awoke while attending classes to complete my associates degree. At first I learned about the Pacific Gyre, an oceanic current that is loaded with plastic that not only accumulates within the middle of it’s spiral current; but also transports this debris onto land masses where it accumulates and increases the levels of negative impact. The primary two concerns are direct consumption of the plastic by animals, and the environmental toxicity that forms due to chemical leaching into the water. Currently humanity is dumping over 8 million tons of plastic into the ocean annually. Scientific studies and photographic evidence is proving that life from mites and ticks to whales and birds are consuming; and dying; from directly consuming this material. Additionally, science is proving that these plastics are recyclable, even though they have been exposed to ocean waters for years at a time. The recycling can be done in two specific ways, the first being using the plastics as a partial blend for new plastic products. Additionally, Pyrolysis is a chemical melting process that returns the plastics to a synthetic oil that can be used to reclaim many of the natural resources used to originally create the plastics, while also capturing any natural gasses.
Due to the multifaceted nature of the environmental impact of these materials are having on our planet, remediation plans must be created and acted upon. It is well known that areas around the globe are feeling the impact of these materials when they are disguarded into the environment. My plan is to actively clean up areas of the world where these plastics find there way on shore. By developing recycling plans that connect local oceanic communities to the plastic pyrolysis and recycling factories that will effectively re-purpose the natural materials that have already been extracted from the planet. These plastics can be sold to recyclers, providing an income stream for those that work to protect the quality of their natural communities while protecting a multitude of forms of life in the process.
My goals after graduation are to leave the United States and spend time directly working with organizations like The Plastic Bank in Peru who work with local communities to develop the skills needed to create successful remediation programs. By working directly to clean up this trash while experiencing how community programs that make a difference operate; I will gain valuable experience. I then expect to start a non profit that will fund efforts to keep plastic debris out of our oceans while providing educational connectivity to environmental groups like Earth Force, a grade school education program that teaches students about their connection to the planet. My overall goal is to allow for a network of remediation efforts to be crated so that existing plastic operations will have sufficient waste plastics and reformulated oils to impact the demand for extracted natural resources.