Fishermen fish for plastic to help clean the oceans

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LAS VEGAS (CBS News) — Plastics are the most common form of garbage found in the world’s oceans. According to the World Economic Forum, the amount of plastic dumped into oceans is equal to a full garbage truck of plastic dumped every minute. But now, some fishermen are casting their nets to make a difference.

“You can see a plastic bag here, a plastic water bottle, some plastic tubing; it’s filled with plastic,” said Seth Doane, Eye on Earth.

That plastic Doane named, and more was collected in just about 30 minutes. Captain Nocola Ciccodotto told CBS’ Eye on Earth, in the past, they’d just toss the trash back overboard.

Seth Doan: “Isn’t this more work for you?
Nicola: “No, it’s the same effort,” she said in Italian.

His trawler is one of 40 taking part in a “Fishing for Plastic” project being tested. It was dreamed up by Eleonora de Sabata, who was researching the impact of plastic in the Mediterranean – where the equivalent of nearly 34,000 plastic bottles are dumped into the sea every minute.

“The fisherman — they’re fishing anyway — they’re catching a lot of plastics; why not help them help us, and help the environment, and get rid of it, de Sabata said. “There needs to be a system that takes care of all of this trash, so we’re setting up a system here.”

That’s taken her to Italy’s Parliament where’s she’s pushing for legislation that would force fishermen to bring the trash back to port and for local communities to get rid of it.

The haul for the 40 vessels in this one harbor is about a ton of plastic every week.

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