In the Pacific Ocean, there is a so-called “Trash Vortex” the size of Texas. IAC Delegates Cecilia Lokhorst, Olivia Kalatschan, Tanner Coolidge, and Ben Elmerick’s proposal plans to use plastic eating fungi, called pestalotiopsis microspora to consume the plastic that contaminates the Pacific, and can also be fed to marine biolife.
The proposal suggests covering the Pacific Garbage Patch with a mixture of fungi seeds, also known as spores, and salt water–which is all organic. This mixture can also be used for further projects, and will be placed on the Garbage Patch with a plain hose. Growing the fungi would take approximately 3-6 weeks.
This is safe for marine life as well, since fish can digest vegetables and foliage. The waste is composed of multiple nutrients that will be good for the environment, such as penicillin.
According to Cecilia Lokhorst, “The cost would be $40,000 for 5 tons of mushrooms at $4 per pound of spores. There would be a $22,000 operating cost per day for 1 fixed-wing firefighting aircraft, one of the largest ones. Adding up to a total of $8.26 million dollars.”
The top 8 trash producing countries would have to contribute to the cost of the whole process which would be split up so the US, Russia, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico, France, China, would each be responsible for $232,500.