At the beginning of this year, shockwaves spread across the public with the news that by 2050, there would be more plastic than fish in the oceans. To someone like me who is very conscious about the waste I am producing, this was hardly surprising, though still incredibly depressing. However what was more unexpected was how everyone else reacted to it, amazed that there was even a plastic problem in the first place. Not enough people are aware of the fact that we are drowning in plastic, and choose to ignore the signs, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, that have shown us for years we are choking the oceans. And if the oceans are ruined, that means huge swathes of ecosystems will be destroyed,containing all of our fish and seafood, essential energy producers in food chains, and kelps and seagrasses that act as natural erosion barriers, to name a few.
So are we as a species doomed because of this unhealthy plastic addiction? Or are we able to change our ways, and find some way to clean up our beautiful seas?
The Seabin Project aims to do exactly that. Founded by Andrew Turton and Peter Ceglinski, the Seabin Project produces rubbish bins that can be hung in the water and suck in any plastic, paper, oils, detergents and other general debris in the surrounding ocean. They use an electric pump which attracts all of the rubbish, and filter it out, returning the clean water to the sea. Even when the bags are full, they can still attract rubbish, drawing it in to float around the Seabin.
There is no better way to be inspired to go waste-free than by meeting the people who have done it already. This week I got to interview Susan Roßner, an employee at the University of Konstanz who also runs the website monomeer, an online shop that focuses on selling plastic-free and reduced packaging products. She has lived a plastic-free life herself for years, and with her website is educating and inspiring many others around Germany and beyond to do the same!
Below are the questions I asked about her plastic-free life and business: