Netherlands-Based RanMarine has come up with an innovative solution for the cleanup of the world’s ports and harbors. They have created a technology that uses autonomous surface vehicles ASV’s to do this demanding and time-consuming job. The company truly believes its technology is the answer to the plague of plastic that has found its way into the world’s oceans and other waterways. It offers a flexible and cost-effective option to help solve plastic pollution problems in any body of water. An overview of this company can be seen on their Facebook Page here at https://www.facebook.com/RanMarineTechnology.
Richard Hardiman, RanMarine’s Founder, offered up some staggering numbers on the impact that plastic and other debris have on the world’s bodies of water and mankind in general. It all starts with an ecosystem that is under great stress from the way that people live. He stated that much of this is because 54% of the world’s population now lives in cities that are experiencing a rise in lifestyle expectations. This brings along with it increased consumption and the exponential growth of waste and pollution in vital ecosystems such as water. It’s estimated that the world is now producing some 300 million tons of plastic per year and this number is growing every year. The company founder stated that the fallout from this is failing ecosystems, increased civic costs, and a growing economic divide. Specific threats include that to the biosphere where over 700 species are now faced with the immediate threat of extinction due to marine litter. A heavy burden has also been placed on the economy due to the $260 billion lost globally every year due to unclean fresh water. He says that in addition to this, the annual cleanup costs of ocean litter amount to over $75 billion per year. The states of California, Oregon, and Washington alone spend over $500 million annually cleaning up their shared Pacific coastline. Hardiman remarked that perhaps the most pressing concern is that 2.8 billion people live in heavily polluted trans-boundary river catchment areas. These people who rely on seafood as a primary source of protein are eating seafood where an estimated 33% of that diet contains some form of plastic in it.
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