Water pollution has become a worldwide epidemic in recent years, but Australian authorities have come up with a creative solution to curb this issue.

When plastic wastes get dumped into water sources, they can cause devastating impacts on marine life.

A report by National Geographic states:

“Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean from coastal regions. That’s about equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet.”

“All that plastic is causing harm to the creatures that live in the ocean, from coral reefs smothered in bags, to turtles gagging on straws, to whales and seabirds that starve because their bellies are so jammed with bits of plastic that there’s no room for real food.”

“New research is emerging apace about the possible long-term impacts of tiny pieces of plastic on the marine food chain—raising fresh questions about how it might ultimately impact human health and food security.”

“About 40 percent of all plastic produced is used in packaging, and much of that is used only once and then discarded. Less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled, though many countries and businesses are trying innovative solutions to increase that number.”

In a bid to stop dumping plastic wastes to the ocean, authorities from the Australian city of Kwinana installed a new, highly beneficial filtration system in the Henley Reserve.

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The filtration system consists of a net that’s placed on the outlet of a drainage pipe to trap large debris, protecting the environment from contamination.

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The pipes drain water from both residential and natural areas, and the trash from these places can be overwhelming and be harmful to the environment if not controlled. This waste is usually washed away by heavy rains, which pulls it down to the drainage systems.

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So, to curb this issue, Kwinana city authorities started by installing 2 nets and were amazed at the results. The new filtration system filtered more than 800 pounds of garbage within weeks.

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When the nets get full, they’re lifted and the trash thrown into special garbage collecting trucks and transported to trash-sorting centers.

There, the trash gets separated into non-recyclable and recyclable material, before further processing.

Though the installation and manufacture of these nets are a bit expensive (about $10,000 each), the overall system is still profitable.

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This filtration system proves once again that small things can make a huge difference, and focusing on them can have a positive impact on our environment.