OceanHero project to turn waste plastic into bricks to build homes in impoverished areas
OceanHero search engine users have helped recover 21 million ocean-bound plastic bottles from the comfort of their homes and offices. When web surfers add the ocean-protection search engine to their browser, they recover ocean-bound plastic with every search.
"When you consider that 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enter our oceans every year, you realize that each of us has a responsibility to stem the tide," said OceanHero founder Marvin Burman. "If humans don't make major changes by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans."
How OceanHero works
Internet users add the OceanHero search engine to their browser. When they conduct a search, open a new browser tab or answer ocean-themed trivia questions, OceanHero pays partners to recover ocean-bound plastic.
OceanHero works with organizations that have created a global infrastructure of plastic collection hubs, built micro recycling plants, found innovative ways to repurpose plastic, and provide pollution education. The funds come from unobtrusive ads displayed in the browser and search results, similar to what users see in any search engine.
Turning waste plastic into bricks
OceanHero works with Trash Waste Solutions to reclaim ocean-bound plastic and turn it into bricks in Manado, Indonesia, an area that has suffered massively from plastic dumping.
Burman noted, "Many communities have limited waste management systems. Recycling centres are often only available in larger cities. That's why we started this pilot project in Indonesia. We're creating micro recycling plants that transform plastic waste into building blocks. So instead of plastic destroying communities, it can rebuild them."
A gamified search engine experience
There's also a gamified element - digital shell collecting. They provide a concrete way for users to see how many ocean-bound plastic bottles users have helped to recover. Users earn shells when they open new tabs, perform searches, or answer Ocean trivia questions. For every hundred shells collected, OceanHero can recover one plastic bottle.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.