Message of hope  on plastic waste
Published on: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
By: Kan Yaw Chong
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KOTA KINABALU: A determined five-year local odyssey from Marinah Embiricos to solve the plastic waste problem finally found a real global partner when Race for Water Foundation’s trimaran arrived, Monday. 

The message is that indestructible plastic waste can now be transformed safely into useful energy with bankable returns, thanks to a tested affordable new technology and machine. 

Just as bacteria and microbes breakdown organic wastes into useful compounds, the same principle inspired Race for Water research scientists to develop a tested apparently profitable technology to transform plastics into much needed energy. 

Race for Water Foundation has come to tell Sabah this through a special 20-day stopover of their spectacular all renewable energy powered 100-tonne 130ft long trimaran which arrived a day earlier than planned.

The problem is 260 billion tonnes of plastics had been dumped into the oceans and whirling around in five giant trash voltexes and releasing harmful toxic chemicals that are poisoning the seas – one of those classic “Tragedies of the Commons” – where everybody is exploiting benefits of the oceans but nobody wants to take any responsibility to protect them.

Swiss entrepreneur-cum-avid sailor Marco Simeoni and local Marinah Embiricos decided to do something to turn plastic waste into something good and stop 25 million tonnes being added to the sea each year.

As a sailor, Marco saw the horrors in the oceans, sold his business to SwissCom at a fortune and decided to dedicate his life and money to build the trimaran which set sail on its maiden 5-year Race for Water Odyssey in April 2015 to look at the five giant plastic trash gyres – something nobody had done. 

Surprisingly, the so-called plastic islands popularly reported did not exist but at the heart of these five oceans languishes a soup of toxic micro plastics or nano plastics broken down by ultraviolet rays and the elements drifting about at the mercy of the oceanic gyres or spiralling voltexes. 

But only 1pc of the harmful toxic wastes floated at the surface the rest 99pc not sure where its gone! So this experience with all five gyres in the remote oceans never before studied made Marco realise that the solution was one land – a combined action of all nations in preventing plastic wastes from reaching waterways and oceans through effective social and business models that incentivise its collection and use to turn plastic waste into profitable energy.




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