Just yesterday, I heard a brilliant idea: economically incentivize people to clean up plastic waste from the world's beaches, oceans, and waterways.
The Canadian-based organization that is attempting to do this is called Plastic Bank. According to co-founder Davis Katz, plastic is more valuable than steel by weight and with literally billions of tons of plastics littering the world's beaches and waterways, there's trillions of dollars worth of plastic refuse out there just waiting to be recycled!
This is not the first time that economists have tried to mitigate a global environmental problem using a monetary solution. In fact, when I first heard of what Plastic Bank is trying to do, it made me think of carbon taxing, which has been implemented around the world with varying results.
With that being said, I have one word for you: plastics.
Are you intrigued by this market-based solution to a global environmental problem? Then follow Plastic Bank on twitter and like their facebook page!
Matthew Savoca holds a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. His research interests include sensory behavioral ecology, marine conservation biology, and seabird ecology.