Ocean waste and pollution is a serious problem — and each day, it only gets more dire. With things like a massive, twice-the-size-of-Texas vortex of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, people are beginning to take notice and create innovative solutions to the problem of ocean more and more often.
One teenager discovered how to convert styrofoam into a system to filter water. Another group of of people created a water bottle that supports innovations in recycling worldwide.
And now, students have discovered how to recycle ocean waste into prosthetic limbs.
Chris Moriarty was taking classes for his doctorate when he started thinking about the need for massive ocean cleanup as well as the need of prosthetic limbs for 40,000 people worldwide. Moriarty then teamed up with is wife to combine the two things into one project: the Million Waves Project.
The team figured that about 30 collected water bottles equals enough to be recycled and eventually sent through a 3-D printer, which then creates one prosthetic limb.
The cost of the limb is only $45, and the Moriartys have already been able to help more than a dozen people in need of prosthetic limbs.
In fact, the Million Waves endeavor is becoming so talked about that the husband-and-wife team is having trouble meeting the demand as of right now. But they're working on that, too.
The team is gaining support for their project by selling keychains on their website. They also accept donations to support their growing project.
Million Waves Project also accepts plastic donations, noting on its website that, "We can accept donations of clean and dry PET (#1) plastic recovered from the ocean/beach if the donor is willing to pay for shipping. Please email us and let us know if you plan to donate."
Million Waves Project is unsurprisingly getting a good deal of press for their $45 prosthetic limbs, too, which is a good sign that many, many more prosthetic limbs will be made and many, many more tons of plastic waste will be removed from the shorelines and ocean.