TCMS is getting a plastic shredder!

As most people know, the beautiful Caribbean Sea around our Belize Barrier Reef is vastly polluted with an enormous amount of non-biodegradable plastic trash. Sadly, most of what we see lying around and washing up daily on our reef crest and around Tobacco Caye isn't from Belize. It washes in from other parts of the world due to ocean currents, every year, 8 million tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently is circulating in our global marine environments.

At Tobacco Caye Marine Station we have removed over 76,000 individual items of trash from the reef crest and Tobacco Caye. However most of that trash has had to taken to landfill. However now we have a solution to the pollution....A PLASTIC SHREDDER. A machine that can help us turn unusable bits of ocean plastic into plastic chips that can be reused/repurposed or if needs be more easily disposed of in landfill. 

We are extremely proud to be partnering with Zane Carney from Jungle Hammers Ironworks who is taking on the challenge of building such a machine he stated, “I am very proud to join in the effort of reducing this out of control problem that Tobacco Caye Marine Station is facing head on.”

Our custom planned plastic shredder while sounding like a basic everyday tool will be so much more. Once it is in production, it will have the capability to shred anything from simple drink bottles to car bumpers and old kayaks. In the words of the builder, “there is no plastic item too big or small that this machine will not be able to shred!”

The plastic shredder will be built to withstand a very corrosive environment, utilising a full stainless steel mechanical drivetrain, with a full aluminium frame for a solid base along with an aluminium top feeding hopper and push stick for maximum safety and finally a bottom catch hopper for easy extraction of funnelling of the plastic chips into storage containers.

James the station manager at Tobacco Caye Marine Station has been leading this project and collaboration with Jungle Hammers Ironworks and after several meetings and discussions, together we have decided on a specific size and projected duty for the machine.  The shredder that we have drafted up will leave a 1/4 inch plastic chip. These chips are ideal for making eco cinder blocks, eco walking pavers and eco bricks. These products have proven to last longer and are overall more durable than traditional methods. More importantly, these products will serve as an amazing way to recycle and clean up our beautiful sea.

Shredding plastic has gained popularity all over the world and it has proven to be an effective technique towards the fight to reduce the disposal of plastic pollution collected from our oceans and seas. This machine is one step closer to eliminating our sea and ocean crisis. The most exciting part is it will be the first of its kind here in Belize! Let's pave the way for others to follow in this worthwhile fight against ocean plastic pollution, saving our seas and creating useful products from an unsightly and dangerous problem.

After studying several shredder designs, we decided there were 3 main attributes this machine needed.

       -Must run off sustainable solar power efficiently.

       -The shredder build material must be non-corrosive to sea air and water.

       -Safety! The shredder must be safe enough to be run by anyone, even those with no experience.

Zane’s team at Jungle Hammers Ironworks is so excited to be a part of this environmental game changer and we at TCMS look forward to seeing this shredder be the catalyst for an eco-friendlier culture for the future of Belize.

With just a parts cost of over $3,500 USD and labour costs of over $2,500 it is imperative that this vital project receive the recognition it deserves as well as financial support in terms of donations in order to help subsidise this crucial investment in a machine that will change the face of plastic pollution on Tobacco Caye! 

We would like to ask for you (YES YOU!) to help subsidise this highly significant machine, so that we can continue to eradicate the problem of plastic pollution around Tobacco Caye and help improve the health of the local marine environment around Tobacco Caye. By supporting our plastic shredder, you will in turn be helping to provide a cleaner and safer environment for island residents and visitors to Tobacco Caye.

With your help we can be one step closer to stopping the reality that plastic could outweigh all fish in the ocean by the year 2050! 

From everyone on Tobacco Caye and especially the management staff at Tobacco Caye Marine Station – James and Zara - we would like to thank you for taking the time to read our campaign and if you are able to help support our plastic shredder know that we are very grateful!


James Troughton

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