The Plastic Environmental Problem

In India, recycled plastic is used to maker more than 3,000 miles of roads, innovated by Professor Rajagopalan Vasudevan. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set aside environmental protections in 2015 to encourage economic growth, relying on businesses to voluntarily disclose pollution impacts of new projects in the new good faith policy. Projects in forests no longer needed to seek approval of tribal councils and mining construction on less than 247 acres no longer required government inspection.

Dutch student Boyan Slat delayed going to university to study engineering to raise money for his plan to collect plastic debris from the Pacific Ocean. Diving in Greece, he saw more plastic bags than fish, so when he was 17, he developed a passive cleanup system for the estimated 8.8 million metric tons of plastic dumped in the ocean each year. He coordinated a 530-page feasibility study, spoke on TEDx[i] and turned to crowdsourcing to raise $2 million to build the structures needed to collect plastic and recycle it into oil or other materials like the cover of the report.[ii] (Also in the Netherlands, olivine is used as a pebble ground cover because it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.) Other young European environmentalists are active in Young Greens party.[iii] In the UK, a Bio-Bus, known as the poo bus, can travel 186 miles on biomethane fuel made from five people’s human waste and food garbage.[iv] Painted on the bus are people sitting on toilets.




[iv] Sam Frizell, “UK’s First ‘Poo Bus’ Rides on Human Waste Fuel,” TIME, November 22, 2014.


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