Last week I had the pleasure (and pain) of representing The 5 Gyres Institute at the second UNEP Global Land Ocean Connections conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
I am rescooping this because it addresses so many issues of plastic pollution.
One point that is interesting relates to the usefullness of recycling plastic that has been in the ocean for a while. I quote
"Mike ( Biddle), a PhD chemical engineer said straight up that plastic obtained from the marine environment (stuff harvested from the ocean, for instance) is mostly way too polluted with persistent organic pollutants and is way too photo-degraded to be useful, or valuable. And for Mike, it makes no sense to go into the ocean to get this stuff instead of building the infrastructure that gets it to his plant before it gets to the ocean. So much for economically viable gyre cleanup schemes."
It seems that this might make a case for plastic-to-fuel reuse instead. The question remains …. is the photo-degraded plastic useful for that?
See on 5gyres.org