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Plastic Bank: First 3D Printed Items Made from Recycled Ocean Plastic

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World Ocean Day: Saving the ocean from plastic pollution

Plastic Bank receives innovation award for first 3D printing from recycled plasticSunday, June 8 was officially World Ocean Day. At a time when we find the world’s oceans in crisis from acidification, warming surface temperatures, overfishing and pollution, calling attention to the health of our oceans is of paramount importance.

Last summer year we introduced our readers to the Plastic Bank, a new social and environmental movement aimed at removing plastic waste from oceans and waterways and turning this plastic effluent choking the seas into a kind of currency able to lift people out of poverty through a self-sustaining program of entrepreneurship. It’s called “Social Plastic.”

The idea of Social Plastic is to turn the plastic waste accumulating along shorelines and in the oceans into a valuable commodity through the establishment of “Plastic Banks” in poor communities with an abundance of plastic waste and few opportunities of a better life for its citizens.

Plastic Banks will harvest the waste plastic collected for recycling, reuse and 3D printing of everyday products. Plastic Banks issue credits for the harvested plastic that can be used for micro-finance loans, exchange for everyday items made from “repurposed” plastic or for access to 3D printing for necessities to help a community with a specific need – say a new water filter or some other key item that can have a positive impact on the whole community. Harvesters are further empowered as entrepreneurs through access to education and opportunities.

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia by co-founders David Katz and Shaun Frankson, Plastic Bank recently reached an important milestone with completion of their first 3D printed items made entirely from recycled plastic waste harvested from the ocean. On May 29th, The Recycling Council of British Columbia awarded Plastic Bank their 2014 RCBC Innovation Award for their achievement. 

Katz and Frankson plan on opening the first fully operational Plastic Bank next month in Peru. The hope is to continue rolling-out the idea of Plastic Bank, building facilities throughout poor communities while creating greater demand for products made from recycled plastic that once littered our oceans and waterways. As the idea of Social Plastic grows, the value of the harvested plastic will increase,  creating more opportunities for people to lift themselves, their families and their communities from poverty. Katz and Frankson envision Social Plastic as a worldwide movement that cleans the ocean and improves lives.

“Global social and environmental crises are linked, and so are the solutions,” says Katz. “The crisis of waste plastics is an industrial problem that demands a transformative solution, like taking ocean-bound plastic waste and assigning it value. That is the promise of social plastic.”

Image credit: Plasticbank.org

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  1. WHY THERE IS GLOBAL WARMING

    People in the USA, are being told by the U.S. government and media that global warming is man-made. If that is true, how can the government and media explain the high temperatures the earth has experienced in past years when there were far fewer people? Let us look back in the world’s history: for example, between roughly 900AD and 1350AD the temperatures were much higher than now. And, back then there were fewer people, no cars, no electric utilities, and no factories, etc. So what caused the earth’s heat? Could it be a natural occurrence? The temperature graph at the bottom of this article shows the temperatures of the earth before Christ to 2040.

    In the book THE DISCOVERERS published in February 1985 by Daniel J. Boorstin, beginning in chapter 28, it goes into detail about Eric the Red, the father of Lief Ericsson, and how he discovered an island covered in green grass.

    In approximately 983AD, Eric the Red committed murder, and was banished from Iceland for three years. Eric the Red sailed 500 miles west from Iceland and discovered an island covered in GREEN grass, which he named Greenland. Greenland reminded Eric the Red of his native Norway because of the grass, game animals, and a sea full of fish. Even the air provided a harvest of birds. Eric the Red and his crew started laying out sites for farms and homesteads, as there was no sign of earlier human habitation.

    When his banishment expired, Eric the Red returned to congested Iceland to gather Viking settlers. In 986, Eric the Red set sail with an emigrant fleet of twenty-five ships carrying men, women, and domestic animals. Unfortunately, only fourteen ships survived the stormy passage, which carried about four-hundred-fifty immigrants plus the farm animals. The immigrants settled on the southern-west tip and up the western coast of Greenland.

    After the year 1200AD, the Earth’s and Greenland’s climate grew colder; ice started building up on the southern tip of Greenland. Before the end of 1300AD, the Viking settlements were just a memory. You can find the above by searching Google. One link is:

    http://www.greenland.com/en/about-greenland/kultur-sjael/historie/vikingetiden/erik-den-roede.aspx

    The following quote you can also read about why there is global warming. This is from the book EINSTEIN’S UNIVERSE, Page 63, written by Nigel Calder in 1972, and updated in 1982.

    “The reckoning of planetary motions is a venerable science. Nowadays it tells us, for example, how gravity causes the ice to advance or retreat on the Earth during the ice ages. The gravity of the Moon and (to a lesser extent) of the Sun makes the Earth’s axis swivel around like a tilted spinning top. Other planets of the Solar System, especially Jupiter, Mars and Venus, influence the Earth’s tilt and the shape of its orbit, in a more-or-less cyclic fashion, with significant effects on the intensity of sunshine falling on different regions of the Earth during the various seasons. Every so often a fortunate attitude and orbit of the Earth combine to drench the ice sheets in sunshine as at the end of the most recent ice age, about ten thousand years ago. But now our relatively benign interglacial is coming to an end, as gravity continues to toy with our planet.”

    The above points out that the universe is too huge and the earth is too small for the earth’s population to have any effect on the earth’s temperature. The earth’s temperature is a function of the sun’s temperature and the effects from the many massive planets in the universe, i.e., “The gravity of the Moon and (to a lesser extent) of the Sun makes the Earth’s axis swivel around like a tilted spinning top. Other planets of the Solar System, especially Jupiter, Mars and Venus, influence the Earth’s tilt and the shape of its orbit, in a more-or-less cyclic fashion, with significant effects on the intensity of sunshine falling on different regions of the Earth during the various seasons.”

    Read below about carbon dioxide, which we need in order to exist. You can find the article below at:

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html.
    FUN FACTS about CARBON DIOXIDE:

    Of the 186 billion tons of carbon from CO2 that enter earth’s atmosphere each year from all sources, only 6 billion tons are from human activity. Approximately 90 billion tons come from biologic activity in earth’s oceans and another 90 billion tons from such sources as volcanoes and decaying land plants.

    At 380 parts per million CO2 is a minor constituent of earth’s atmosphere–less than 4/100ths of 1% of all gases present. Compared to former geologic times, earth’s current atmosphere is CO2- impoverished.

    CO2 is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Plants absorb CO2 and emit oxygen as a waste product. Humans and animals breathe oxygen and emit CO2 as a waste product. Carbon dioxide is a nutrient, not a pollutant, and all life– plants and animals alike– benefit from more of it. All life on earth is carbon-based and CO2 is an essential ingredient. When plant-growers want to stimulate plant growth, they introduce more carbon dioxide.

    CO2 that goes into the atmosphere does not stay there, but continuously recycled by terrestrial plant life and earth’s oceans– the great retirement home for most terrestrial carbon dioxide.

    If we are in a global warming crisis today, even the most aggressive and costly proposals for limiting industrial carbon dioxide emissions and all other government proposals and taxes would have a negligible effect on global climate!

    The government is lying, trying to use global warming to limit, and tax its citizens through “cap and trade” and other tax schemes for the government’s benefit. We, the people cannot allow this to happen.

    The Earth’s Temperature Graph should be shown below:

    If the Earth’s temperature graph is not shown above, you can see this temperature graph at the link:

    http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm

    You can copy the temperature graph and place it in your computer.

    • Harold, thanks for your comments. Did you have anything relative to add regarding the post you commented on regarding the work of the Plastic Bank to empower low-income communities and clean the ocean of waste plastic?

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