Recycled PET enlisted to save Louisiana shore

Vince Bond Jr.

Published: November 7, 2011 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Sustainability, Recycling

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 7, 1:45 p.m. ET) — Almost every hour, the Louisiana coastline loses a football field-sized piece of land.

And with it goes the region’s first line of defense against flooding and stability in the seafood, oil and gas industries, said Val Marmillion, managing director of America’s Wetland Foundation in Louisiana.

To give the wetlands a boost last month, the foundation teamed with numerous organizations, including the Coastal Conservation Association, Martin Ecosystems and oil company Shell to place 187 “floating islands,” made of recycled PET bottles, in shallow waters along Isle De Jean Charles, La. The islands are filled with native plants in an attempt to build an off-shore “reef” of new wetlands.

Marmillion said it’s important to “stimulate inventive ideas by small entrepreneurs” to see if restoration efforts can be effective in small, targeted projects like this one.

“People are migrating northward. It doesn’t take a storm for tides to rise,” he said. “The region is living in a disaster economy – Gustav, Ike, [Katrina]. The region has been so damaged. We’ve got our hands full as far as raising public awareness and its impact nationally.”

If all goes according to plan, the grasses from the floating islands will take root to the earth below, serving as an anchor. In turn, the islands will trap sediment from the flowing water to form land.

Baton Rouge, La.-based Martin Ecosystems developed the islands, which are 5-foot-by-8-foot pallets of recycled PET with a Brillo pad-like texture. The company, members of local Indian tribes and children placed the structures in the water.

Two saltwater plants, smooth cordgrass and seashore paspalum, were planted into holes on the islands and secured with peat, said Nicole Waguespack, co-owner of Martin Ecosystems.

The islands are connected with a stainless steel cable and solidified by anchors that are driven into the soil 15 to 18 feet deep until reaching clay.

A complete version of this story is available at www.wasterecyclingnews.com.


Comments

Recycled PET enlisted to save Louisiana shore

Vince Bond Jr.

Published: November 7, 2011 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Battle brewing over single-use coffee pods

October 2, 2014 12:25 pm ET

A battle is brewing in the world of single-service coffee pods. A major Canadian roaster of the beverage beans is suing North America's leading...    More

Image

Australia taking on microbeads, seeks voluntary phase out

October 2, 2014 12:41 pm ET

An Australian environment minister has declared war on polyethylene microbeads.    More

Image

Compression molding offers alternative for cap production

October 2, 2014 1:42 pm ET

While it may seem like injection molding is the only way to produce caps and closures, it turns out to be far from the truth. Compression molding is...    More

Image

Silver-Line and Lasco Fittings earn sustainable manufacturing certification

October 2, 2014 11:42 am ET

The Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA) certified the first two businesses — a pipe extruder and a fittings producer — to meet...    More

Image

Integrated plastic/metal injection molding helps cars trim weight

October 2, 2014 11:17 am ET

Although it consumes a scant 9 percent of European plastics production, the auto industry is driving plastics research in the region, said Mathias Web...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events