Ocean-Bound Plastic: What It Is and What It Isn’t

A professor from the University of Georgia, Dr. Jenna Jambeck, published an article in the popular magazine Science that defined “ocean-bound” as a principle for understanding both the track and impact of plastic pollution. The article, available by logging in here, shines light on the existence of plastic in our ecosystem and also on its track through (or around) our treatment systems.

Ultimately, the majority of plastic does not end up in the ocean but in various other pockets of our ecosystem.

As the research and technology has expanded over the past 5 years since this article was published, advanced processes and systems have been put in place to help members of the scientific community — members like Dr. Jambeck — study, track, and solve the plastic pollution conundrum in front of us. Plastic is still entering our ecosystem. Metric ton upon metric ton of it is still ending up in our oceans, but much of it ends up in freshwater sources and in other deposits around the globe. 

Ocean-bound plastic is only part of the problem!

We could (and eventually will) dig deeper into exactly where plastics released into our ecosystem are ending up. The argument posed in Sustainable Brands, for instance, contends that ocean-bound is a far too limiting term, as it limits the conversation to pieces of garbage (in this instance, plastic garbage) that are literally being tossed directly into the ocean or are being washed into it before much times passes. It does not unpack the journey of the plastic spoon that is thrown onto the ground just a few miles inland from the coast. 

And it’s garbage that is not being properly categorized or managed that needs to be part of the bigger conversation. It’s leading many environmentalists to change their understanding of what an honest conversation about plastic pollution really entails.

A comprehensive plan to solve plastic pollution is about much more than the plastic in our oceans. It’s about the plastic in our world. 

Continue to follow this conversation by reading the full article.

Read the original publication about ocean-bound plastics from Dr. Jambeck.

And stay connected to us at Filtrol, as we continue our fight to get back to real water and stop plastic pollution in its tracks. 

Overcoming Roadblocks: The Plastic Pollution Problem

The world is full of hardworking people helping to keep microfiber pollution in the conversation and to make it a problem that gets solved rather than a burden that gets bigger. We know that we are just one part of a much larger, global movement. At Filtrol, one of the biggest conversations we have as researchers and experts on plastic pollution is about the roadblocks that get in our way. Some of our challenges can be solved with engineering. Some with more funding or by working together. Some of them require a much bigger, more fundamental shift in our culture.

As much as we can, we’re going to work hard to overcome roadblocks and solve the plastic pollution problem. 

Roadblock 1 – Funding

Research and development costs money. Any time our engineers look to re-examine microfiber pollution and find different ways to stop it from continuing on its path, it costs something. Every iteration of our product is another investment of our resources.  And every investment of our resources is a commitment by our team and network. The work that the Filtrol does to stop plastics from leaving your home came because of engineering innovation. Which, in this context, is really just a fancy word for trying and then trying again and then again…and then again. Which is another fancy word for time and money. 

Roadblock 2 – Education

Many of the challenges that we face in our efforts to solve microfiber pollution exist within the human mind. Many people are not aware of the true extent and implications of plastic in our environment. This lack of awareness or education translates into apathy for many people. And apathy is a brutal adversary. 

So from our perspective, the more we can educate people about the realities around us, the more people we have to join us in our fight for our environment. 

Roadblock 3 – Worthy Competitors

We live in a culture filled with challenges and causes. From the months-long battle against COVID-19 to the shifting cultural tides regarding race relations throughout our country, there are many people fighting for many causes that are serious…and worthwhile.

Each fight takes education, money, and passion. 

At Filtrol, we understand that there are many worthwhile causes being discussed right now. Each cause has significant implications for our culture…for our communities, our country, and for our future. 

The roadblocks that we face in our efforts are not unique to Filtrol. They are, however, something that we must overcome if we are going to make an impact on the world around us. 

We remain as committed as ever to stopping plastic pollution and it’s devastating effects on our environment. We understand that this battle will take a long time, a lot of commitment and dedicated resources. We understand that in this fight, success is measured over long periods of time. 

Will you join us in our cause?

Turning Plastic Into Purpose

How Filtrol is making plastic pollution everyone’s problem with a simple solution.

Most often, an issue doesn’t become significant to someone until they are personally impacted by it. As a Minnesota-based company, we’ve grown up loving the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, hiking, water sports. From frigid winter sledding to hot summer days on the lakes, we love the outdoors. The more we see the massive impact that plastic pollution is having on our world – and especially the impact of microfiber pollution – the more committed we are to our cause.

The solution isn’t an easy one.

Our dependence on plastic seems to grow every day. In fact, there is a certain level of blindness that people tend to succumb to in the area of plastic consumption. It’s not that people are intentionally destructive or dismissive. It’s that familiarity and routine have made us not even notice the everyday decisions we could be making to lessen the impact of plastic on our ecosystem. Single-use plastics. Grocery bags. Water bottles. Cheap clothing. The list is growing every day of items we use that we don’t need to use, of habits we have that we don’t need to have. 

At Filtrol, we realize that plastic isn’t going away any time soon. We also realize (and even appreciate!) the conveniences that plastics have brought to our lives. With that convenience, however, we also recognize a responsibility.

And while we can’t solve all the world’s plastic problems (at least not yet), we can solve one. 

The thousands of microfibers and synthetic materials flushed from your home with every load of laundry can be almost completely eliminated with the simple installation and maintenance of the Filtrol at your home’s laundry station. 

The installation is simple, but the impact is profound. 

Learn more about the Filtrol and how you can stop plastics from leaving your home.
Join the conversation and be part of the solution.

​Plastic of All Sizes (and Unknown Impact)

Since some time in the 1950’s, the world has produced more than 10 million tons of plastic. For those who are counting, that’s 20,000,000,000,000 pounds. This plastic has been used in everything from single-use packaging or production products to toys, clothes, and furniture. It’s everywhere and in everything.

According to this report, we are consuming some 74,000 pieces of plastic each year. And while regulatory committees, federal oversight groups, and legislative bodies assure us that the presence of plastic isn’t constituting a problem, the non-biodegradable evidence would seem to say otherwise. Images of billions of pieces of plastic floating in our world’s oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams are everywhere. Pictures of birds, fish, and sea life with stomachs compacted with pieces of plastic garbage tell a different story.

Considering the sheer volume of plastic in our environment, can we really say that it is safe?

The debate on this topic has been swirling for years. Some plastics are considered less toxic than others. They sometimes contain thousands of different chemicals to make them more or less malleable, sturdier, more versatile, or easier to package, One of the chemicals used in many plastics contains BPA, which has been linked to everything from reproductive issues to asthma, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes. Read more about BPA’s effects on the human body here.  

We don’t know what all of the implications are to all of this plastic. We know some of the consequences of the use of plastic in our world (like the health effects listed above and the wildlife with stomachs full of it) but we don’t know all of them. The most important thing to remember is that with the massive influx of plastic happening on a daily…even hourly…basis comes a responsibility to protect ourselves, our homes, and our ecosystem from its impacts.

To read a full Consumer Report article related to this topic, click here

To see how Filtrol is fighting to protect our environment and stop plastic in its tracks, click here.