Kwinana, Australia’s Henley Reserve recently installed a filtration system to combat pollution. The results have been amazing for locals and inspiring to the world. Authorities approved the new system last summer and are already seeing a huge impact to the water’s plastic pollution levels.
Statistics show that some 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced in the last seven decades, and less than nine percent of it has been recycled. Of all beach litter across world, almost three-fourths is plastic.
Worldwide, a million plastic bottles and two million plastic bags are used each minute. Around 100,000 marine wildlife and a million sea birds are killed each year as the result of plastic ingestion, and hundreds of species are nearing extinction as a result.
The above are just a few of the hundreds of statistics showing how plastic is a growing concern for all the world’s inhabitants. Australian authorities in Kwinana decided to literally change the landscape.
Henley Reserve’s new brilliant filtration system is as simple and effective as it is innovative, a combination that has many authorities across the world considering adding the systems to their own areas.
With the filtration system, the outlets of drainage pipes coming from residential areas are covered by netting. Water flows through, but the secure netting catches large trash and litter. The netting prevents the debris from contaminating the natural environment that the outlets flow into.
The debris produced by residential areas is much more significant than one usually imagines. Heavy rains wash and pull hundreds to thousands of pounds of debris into the drainage systems each week. Without the netting, all of this trash is free to pollute natural environments and wildlife.
Authorities started with a trial run on the new system. Two of the filtration system nets were installed. The duo caught over 800 pounds of trash in just a few weeks. They were so impressed with the results that they decided to install the net traps on all the city’s drainage outlets.
While the new filtration system costs about $10,000 per net, the system actually ends up saving Kwinana money. Heretofore, the city had to pay people to manually collect the litter as best they could, which was as time-consuming as it was labor intensive.
With the new netting system, the process is more efficient. As the net reaches capacity, it’s collected and placed into trucks to be transported to a trash-sorting facility.
It can then be separated and processed as either a recyclable material or non-recyclable material. The nets are returned and replaced over the outlets.
Kwinana’s new filtration system to prevent pollutants from impacting the environment and wildlife once again proves that even the most simple of concepts and ideas can have huge impacts on our world.