Welcome to GreenBook™
We want to hear your ideas on all the small things each of us can do at home, work and on the road to save the planet. We want to make it fun, green and rewarding for everyone.
Impossible Problems Require Outrageous Solutions
No matter how crazy you think your idea is, let us hear about it. The biggest leaps in progress are often thought to be heresy at inception. So, think big, bold and green.
The latest Big Bold idea addresses the problem of the those nasty Islands of Plastic we've been hearing about.
Companies like Trex have created robust, profitable businesses from recycling plastic (plastic bags in Trex's case) into deck planks resembling wood. They actually have some advantages over wood in that they don't rot and don't need much cleaning. Anyway, the point here is that there is enough value left in the raw material of plastic bags to make it worth a company's while to do the recycling. And there must be enough variation in the materials used for plastic bags
The idea centers around recycling the actual floating Islands of Plastic using a ship that crawls back and forth through the island, sifting through it the way a shark sifts through the water. Let's call this ship the Scooper. This Scooper does a basic sorting of materials as it ingests them, perhaps based on color, density of other characteristics, and the collected materials are melted at high temperatures (using energy gained from burning some of the plastic) allowing embedded metal or other materials to be filtered out. The melted resin is then poured into an extruder that spits out section after section of reusable material.
At intervals, the Scooper would reconnect with the "mother ship" to deliver its cargo of newly made goods, and then head out again to do more work.
The Scooper would be fully automated -- or perhaps have a skeleton crew to repair faults -- and tirelessly comb back and forth across the Island of Plastic until there's nothing left to scoop up. This would take years upon years to complete and would have two main benefits:
- The Islands of Plastic would be cleaned up.
- Building materials would be a useful byproduct.