Heroes

A very low-tech approach to cleaning the ocean could have big results.

'It's a big mission, but it can be done. In fact, we're doing it right now.'

A very low-tech approach to cleaning the ocean could have big results.

Two Australian surfers just came up with a really neat way to help clean the ocean.

It's called the Seabin, and it's the brainchild of Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski. They call it "a simple solution to our oceans' pollution."



It lives up to its name, looking like a bin in the sea.

Here's how it works.

Water and trash flow through the bin. The trash gets caught in the bin, while the water gets pulled up through a pump on the dock. Then a water pump separates oil from the water, and the water flows back down where it started, sans trash.

Image from The Seabin Project, used with permission.

The trash is collected by simply pulling the Seabin out of the water and dumping it out.

Ewwww ... you might have been swimming in that.

While other ocean-cleaning ideas are being put into place right now, the Seabin is a bit different.

Take, for example, The Ocean Cleanup, a 1.2-mile-long system slated for launch in 2016. The Ocean Cleanup collects plastic as it washes through the structure. The Seabin, as you can see, is a tiiiiiiiny bit smaller than that.


OK, a LOT smaller.

And while The Ocean Cleanup will handle plastic in the deeper ocean, the Seabin is made primarily for docks, marinas, and yacht clubs. And unlike The Ocean Cleanup, the Seabin can also capture and separate oil from the water, too, which is a big deal.

Plus, a single Seabin can collect more than a half ton of trash per year.

That's a little over 1,200 pounds, to be more specific. The creators plan to make future Seabins out of recycled plastic, too.

“One of the goals is to make the Seabin from our own plastics to create another Seabin to capture more; it’s a domino effect,” the creators explained in a video. “The second goal is to create a world where we don’t need the Seabin.”

For now, we need all the help we can get when it comes to our oceans.

Every year, 8 million tons of plastic wind up in the ocean, and it's estimated that the ocean is currently home to around 5.25 trillion (with a "t") pieces of plastic.

A man removes plastic bags and other rubbish from Manila Bay. Photo by Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images.

"It's a big mission, but it can be done. In fact, we're doing it right now."

That's the message Seabin creators have for the world. It's easy to feel hopeless and throw your hands up in defeat, but if we all work together to find the right combination of antipollution tactics, we can reclaim clean, beautiful oceans.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less
Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less