So how do you dispose of plastic trash and protect the environment at the same time?
Local Heroes presents four ideas to turn your plastic problems into unique solutions.
1.Let’s go LEGO
Bricks are made with plastic instead of sand in Argentina.
Plastic bottles are collected and then ground in a machine. By combining with cement in a mixer, people in Argentina are able to make bricks using plastic. The finished bricks are twice as light and are more insulating than the regular ones.
What makes this recycling project better is that the production does not harm the environment.
2. Eating it away
In India, Dr. Rahul Marathe found in caterpillars the answer to permanently disposing plastic bags.
He accidentally stumbled on the process while finding a substitute pesticide for sugarcane. He used plastic bags to store wax moth caterpillars. The caterpillars were able to escape by eating their way out of the bags.
“Caterpillars require their share of proteins, minerals and other nutritional components to survive and reproduce,” Marathe explains. “It is found that they can derive them from eating plastic alone.”
What’s more interesting is that the manure of the caterpillars from eating plastic is a perfect fertilizer for plants.
3. Flipping the flops
In Nairobi, Kenya, discarded rubber slippers are given new life by turning them into art works and other functional products.
A group known as Ocean Sole Africa collects flip flops from river and trash piles, clean and compress. The flip flops are then carved into colorful art pieces. The sculptures are shipped to zoos, aquariums and museums across the world for display.
About 3 billion people in the world wear flip flops that last only a year and then thrown away.
Ocean Sole is sending a message to help the planet.
“The story of each product begins as a flip-flop on someone’s feet, then it is thrown out and ends up in the ocean,” Ocean Sole says. “Through the process, oceans are cleaned, jobs are provided, masterpieces are made, and in the end, you get something truly special and unique.”
4. Bottle houses
In Nigeria, refugees have found a way to rebuild their houses damaged by extreme weather conditions. They found the perfect solution in plastic bottles!
The bottles are filled with mud then stacked with cement. It takes 6,000 bottles to build one house.
This technique solves two things in Nigeria – the problem of plastic pollution and housing shortage.
Now that you have all these ideas, which would you like to use first?