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Focus: Haiti

We want to have a lasting impact on this planet. Everywhere Clean Currents sets up shop, we’re making a promise that we won’t leave until the problem is solved. Because we’re still a young company we don’t yet have the resources to clean up every beach and river we want to; we need to focus our mission on somewhere we have the ability to substantially help.

Haiti is the best place to start our clean up effort; it has an abundance of beaches and rivers so we can test and implement our new recovery machines, it’s located relatively close to our headquarters in the United States, minimizing shipping time, and, most importantly, it’s the largest contributor of ocean plastic in the entire Caribbean. By fixing Haiti’s recycling problem, we would be having a massive impact on the whole region.

We’re definitely not making the case that Haiti is solely to blame for the Caribbean’s ocean plastic problem, just that they’re a significant contributor to it and starting in Haiti allows us to recover the most pollution we can, both cheaply and quickly.

Haiti’s population is spread out pretty uniformly over the country, except for their capital, Port-Au-Prince, where 2.3 million people live. The city’s growth has led to the creation of the infamous Trutier dump. Over 800 tons of plastic and garbage are emptied into this dump every single day; why this should matter to you is because this dump is only 200 feet from the sea. Heavy rain or flooding is all it takes to wash literally thousands of tons of plastic into the ocean all at once. This is the ugly truth of ocean plastic, 80% of it originates from these kinds of land-based sources.

The entirety of Haiti imports roughly 40,000 pounds of plastic each day. The first goal for our Haiti operation is to equal that amount in recovery: exporting 40,000 pounds of plastic every day. Surprisingly, this would only require one shipping container of our recycled material leaving the port every 24 hours. This is absolutely achievable. With our mixture of recovery methods like collection centers, beach sifters, river skimmers, and trawlers we project being able to reach this 40,000 lb/day goal within 3 years.

If you would like to read more about what we plan to do with all of this plastic, click here.