The release of plastic into water ways and the sea is a major issue that is being addressed by a growing number of concerned groups https://endplasticwaste.org/answers/
Garbage stars have simple non-return gates in the inside corners, allowing plastic to accumulate in the central area, but not escape from the opposite corner - rather like a lobster pot. The gates are a simple pair of net flaps on a bamboo frame, held up by a coke bottle zip tied to the top. When the tide flows in one direction, at least one of the gates is facing into the current, and collects plastic The ‘arms’ of the star, guide the plastic into the gate Plastic inside the square tries to get out of the other side, but the tide pushes the gate to one of the walls of the square The gate tips are tied together, perhaps 6” apart, so that the gates don’t flap in opposite directions and release the trapped plastic. Hundreds of stars might be installed in a bay area, like Jakarta harbour – the picture shows hundreds of existing fish pens in Jakarta harbour, which grow fish, but which do not intentionally collect plastic Collect plastic in a simple floating bamboo structure. Local villagers visit the stars every day to collect any plastic that has collected Plastic is supplied to the local branch of the Plastic Bank which pays the villagers for the plastic Waste plastic is sorted. Useful plastic is sold Non-reusable plastic is gasified and made into diesel Villagers earn money from plastic Garbage stars help poor communities with several sources of income, and engage local communities Stars are low cost, made of bamboo and coke bottles
It is assumed that the Plastic Bank https://www.plasticbank.org/ model can be applied in areas where garbage stars are deployed
Quick low cost trials will identify the strengths of the design, and aspects that need further evolution. This can be done in the field with real users to build on their knowledge and experience
Garbage stars will be made out of bamboo, coke bottles, zip ties and long lasting net. It is assumed garbage stars can be built for a few tens of dollars
The garbage star system was discussed with the with the Plastics alliance team. Their reaction was the same as the Borneo panel, and they were concerned about raising fish in close proximity to plastic. They accepted that this was not likely to be a major issue, but were concerned that first impressions make the approach unattractive. Therefore, we have removed the fish component of the idea and would aim to install the unit in inland lakes near river entry points where small gyres collect. We have a school lined up that might be able to do this as a design and technology project.
Seek funding for creation of a full scale prototype Link up with other interested parties - a Kuala Lumpur school may be interested in building this as a design and technology project Build full scale demonstration piece Plan field trial with a suitable community Explore extension evolutions of the design. Several extensions have already been identified.
This project is a 'sticking plaster' solution which would require deployment in combination with a wide range of other garbage collection solutions including municipal garbage collection, river booms, storm drain fences etc. The project is clearly doable with moderate positive impact. It will help engage a range of communities by providing a simple tool that can be used to address the issue If this project is selected as one the 20, the funds will be used to support a school based project to build a demonstration garbage star in a lake in Kuala Lumpur. If the project is selected for larger funding, contact will be established with other regional plastics charities and the Plastics Alliance to install garbage stars at other sites and to further evolve the designs. Contact other plastics related charities to facilitate further trials Boost incomes for marginal coastal communities.