Recycled PET enlisted to save Louisiana shore

Vince Bond Jr.

Published: November 7, 2011 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Packaging, 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

Plastics industry blasted for stance in green building debate

July 22, 2014 2:45 pm ET

The plastics industry has taken high-profile stance in the debate over green building standards. The result, today at least, is that it's getting...    More

Image

Plastics help designers bring home the gold

July 22, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Products with polymer content received multiple gold recognitions in the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards.    More

Image

Evolving with the times helps Ohio's Midwest Elastomers prosper

July 22, 2014 12:53 pm ET

Midwest Elastomers Inc. is 35 years old this year, and if the company hadn't abandoned its roots and evolved, it long ago could have gone the way of...    More

Image

Beer maker Carlsberg enlists suppliers for 'upcycling' project

July 22, 2014 11:14 am ET

Carlsberg Breweries A/S in Denmark has started an ambitious project with its suppliers to optimize its packaging for the purpose of “upcycling....    More

Image

Global market for plastic containers to top 46 million metric tons by 2021

July 22, 2014 10:56 am ET

German research company Ceresana has released a study saying that it expects the global market for plastic containers to rise to 46.2 million metric t...    More

Market Reports

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

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

More Events