Quantcast

Floating Bicyclist Sweeps Plastic From London Waterways

Oceans

One plastic bottle at a time, adventurer Dhruv Boruah pedals up and down England's rivers and canals not only to collect waste but to also raise awareness about the planet's growing plastic problem.

The 35-year-old former management consultant, who now heads The Thames Project, picks up plastics and other debris from waterways every three weeks, CNN reported.


He's armed with nothing more than a litter picker and a bamboo bicycle that he rigged with two floaters, waste baskets, and a propeller and rudder.

As he cycles atop the water, he can "become like Jesus for a little bit," he joked.

He admits that he cannot clean up entire rivers alone. So with the help of his eye-catching bicycle, Boruah enlists other helpers on canoes, boats and stand-up paddle boarders.

"It's a great conversation starter, and then I can tell them about my work, the plastic, and how it all starts here in the canals," Boruah told CNN while biking London's Regent's Canal.

During one particular clean-up, Boruah said he and his team of litter pickers collected more than 600 pounds of plastic in the city of Birmingham.

What's more, Boruah and his team also collect data about their cleanups. They use "£20 microscopes from Amazon" to sample water qualities and collect, geo-tag and count the plastic litter, the Thames Project website boasts. They've also created a Thames Litter Discovery Map that shows litter concentration on the river from a citizen science perspective.

Boruah quit the business world after racing a yacht from London to Rio de Janeiro and seeing the problem of marine plastics first-hand. He realized he wanted to be a part of the solution and decided to launch his current anti-plastic campaign.

"Plastic is now in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat," he said to CNN. "You have to care because it's about you, your health, and the health of your children. Why are we destroying this planet for them?"

Boruah appeared in a recent TEDx Talk about his mission to stop plastic pollution. Watch here:

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less