Media and News

Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

 A floating U-shaped barrier, 600 meters long, has been deployed from San Francisco to combat the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A 3-meter-deep screen beneath the boom traps floating plastics and allows fish to swim safely underneath. The boom constantly transmits its location and sensor information, when these indicate it is ready a support vessel collects the amassed rubbish and transports it back to land for recycling.

The device’s creator hopes that if it is successful, it will become the first of a fleet aiming to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within 5 years. The barrier deployed from San Francisco is one of many ocean clean-up efforts worldwide as more people recognize how urgent the need is and act. Closer to home we have the Shruder device developed in Coffs Harbour, which attracted the attention of Prince Charles.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – now almost the size of Queensland – contains plastics from as far back as the 1960s and grows steadily as roughly 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. Part of the solution has to be prevention and education, and there are people working hard to make progress in these areas too – such as the War on Waste documentary which has taken Australia by storm. While the big thinkers’ educate and build though, we are the people who hold the most power to change this. Finding ways to use less plastic and recycling what we do use is the only long-term solution to this problem.

Image: ABC News

Premier’s Hydrogen Energy Paper Published

Following the recent breakthrough in Hydrogen fuel technology, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has published a paper on advancing Australia’s Hydrogen industry.  The paper opens the floor for public consultation to help shape Queensland’s future Hydrogen industry. The appeal for feedback includes an online survey you can take, or submission of a written response to with specific questions for response outlined in the paper itself.

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 universal goals that aim to address the most urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing the world today. They build from the Millennium Development Goals, which saw global extreme poverty and child mortality halved by it’s completion. The SDGs address a broader scope, with a stronger environmental focus and more specific goals.

Achieving these goals is not just a government responsibility, but one falls to businesses and individuals too.  To encourage individuals to act, the UN has put out The Lazy Persons Guide to Saving the World. It’s a list of realistic actions you can take to work toward the SDGs without getting off your couch and includes progressively more taxing suggestions for those willing to stand up, leave the house, or even go to work.

Dirty Hands Cooperative

Two aspirational Hobart friends have started a business that could stop food waste from going to landfill, provide job opportunities, and boost community gardens in one fell swoop. The Dirty Hands Cooperative is currently a one-of-a-kind compost collection business.
Dirty Hands Cooperative collects up to 300 kg of food waste each week from local businesses. They compost the food waste at a community garden space and use it to fertilize the garden’s farm. They hope to have each business they collect from pay a tax-deductible fee, which would pay their salaries and allow them to give away compost to local gardens free of charge.  Co-founder Gabriela O’Leary hopes to replicate the business model. It fills a niche space in Australia’s food waste cycle, providing incentive for businesses to dispose of their food waste responsibly, as well as highly accessible job opportunities that give back to the environment and local gardens. If replicated on a wide scale throughout Australia, its an idea that could give us the upper hand in the war on food waste.


Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Tech Breakthrough

After a decade in research, CSIRO researchers in Queensland have made a breakthrough that could turn Australia into a renewable energy giant.  The fuss is over a type of membrane which allows ultra-high purity hydrogen to be turned into ammonia and back again, making efficient transport of the highly flammable fuel possible. For years this technology has been the missing link to the hydrogen fuel industry.  A recent test in Queensland was a world first, powering a car with completely carbon-free ammonia-derived fuel. It’s a huge step for Australia and we have already received expressions of interest from Japan, South Korea and Europe which could line Australia up for its next export boom. Its another step toward cleaner powered cars and a greener future.

Image: ABC News

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