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interceptor trash fence, ocean pollution, river pollution

Literal islands of trash get created on the surface of the Caribbean Sea. This barrier aims to stop that.

The Interceptor Trashfence might sound like something out of an offbeat science fiction movie, but it's a very real tool being used to thwart further pollution in our oceans.

The Ocean Cleaunup, a nonprofit focused on technology that prevents plastics in rivers from drifting into the ocean, posted a video to YouTube revealing a trial of one of its latest innovations—The Interceptor Trashfence.

Living up to its name, the giant chain link fence was placed in Guatemala's Rio Motagua Basin, which The Ocean Cleanup believes to be the “heaviest polluting river in the world.” With an estimated 20,000 tons of plastic flowing through it each year, it’s a pretty safe assumption.

All of that waste goes directly into the Caribbean Sea, where blankets of garbage can be seen floating on the water’s surface. In 2017, the body of water was dubbed “the sea of plastic'' after disturbing photos showing those immense amounts of litter went viral.

However, with this trash fence intercepting an incoming tsunami of trash, there’s hope that the Caribbean Sea might return to its former glory.


The video shows the approaching wave, edging ever closer to the Interceptor. As the water impacts the Trashfence’s sturdy steel beams, all the plastic can be seen staying behind. It will take countless hours to clean up the literal mountains of trash left behind, but the good news is, the oceans would be clean and clear.

As the video progresses, we see that the Interceptor is not quite foolproof yet. Some bits of plastic are able to flow through certain weak spots in the fence. Still, the amount of garbage that stays behind is remarkable.

It’s hard to tell what is more uplifting— seeing the filtered water go about its merry way, or the look of delight the workers have at seeing their experiment get that much closer to success.

Many well-wishing commenters left their advice on how to prevent a potential breach in the future, such as molding the fence into a V shape pointing upstream, or doing a multifence approach. Others just came in to praise the nonprofit's efforts.

"Man this is heartbreaking to see yet so inspirational. You guys are doing amazing work," one person wrote.

Another added, "We need more people like you and the effort you put into this project to save our world for future generations and keep us from killing off our planet."

Even if the Interceptor wasn’t completely victorious, the overwhelming amount of trash accumulated could be enough of a shocking visual to at least bring a sense of urgency to the situation. As The Ocean Cleanup explained in the description section of its video, 1000 rivers are responsible for roughly 80% of ocean pollution. A twofold combination of removing plastic that’s already there, as well as stopping new plastic from entering (i.e., “closing the tap”), is essential.

The Interceptor is an innovative piece of technology, but a positive impact still primarily lies in the everyday choices we make as individuals. Relying less on single-use plastic items—making sure to bring cloth bags to grocery stores, not using plastic straws, opting for glass containers over Tupperware, and so on—is one small thing that can make a big difference. If there’s any doubt, just take another look at the video for a sobering reminder.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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