One very cool video on Instagram shows some beach trash going on a journey from being litter to becoming something that can prevent future litter.
The video was posted to Instagram by an account called Awake Spiritual (@awake_spiritual), although it does not appear to have been created or owned by that account. It shows a person combing a beach with a special giant sand-combing rake to collect a small pile of metal trash, including soda cans, random springs, bottle caps, aluminum foil, and even some coins.
The trash is then pressed by a hydraulic presser, broken down, melted into liquid, poured into molds, shaped, and eventually completely transformed into a metal garbage can.
The garbage can is then returned to the original beach, where it can collect people’s soda cans and other refuse.
The entire video is extremely satisfying on a number of levels. It’s nice to see the beach cleaned of litter, interesting and soothing to watch smart design and craftsmanship in action, and the symmetry of seeing the garbage collected return to that site as a receptacle to collect garbage makes for a neat little narrative.
Whether or not the process is completely authentic (it looked like there was less metal collected than what ended up going into making the trash can), the message is sweet and uplifting.
While practically all of nature is impacted by human-caused pollution and littering, beaches, which are visited by large numbers of people who may or may not abide by the principle of leaving places better than you found them, are particularly susceptible.
Even worse, a lot of that trash ends up in the ocean, where it threatens marine life. According to National Geographic, there are currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, with deadly consequences for seabirds, fish, and other marine life, who may ingest or become entangled in the garbage.
“This is clever,” wrote one commenter responding to the Instagram video.
“This literally makes me wanna cry… We need 500 million more like him!” wrote another user.
A third user said, “Very creative! Luv it!”
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