Game Changers

Competition Details
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Trash Patch Plastic Catch

by J. Manuel Mansylla
Co-authors: Jimena Leiva-Roesch, Richard Gonzalez, michael Shouten

Edward D. Goldberg, renowned marine chemist known for his studies of pollution in the oceans, predicted that plasticizing the ocean would become one of the global challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.  Already has this new oceanographic phenomenon affected 267 marine organisms and 70 species of birds.

Humanity is facing global environmental challenges, climate change, desertification, sea-level rise, etc; yet the exponential increase of plastic pollution in the ocean is not being considered as having a lasting impact on a global scale. Plastic marine litter has not gained the needed recognition perhaps because it is so remote from our daily life appearing as if it does not have a direct impact in our immediate environment.

While many experts agree that the most ecological and anticipatory response is certainly not to wait until this problem gets worse; others think of it as yet another irreversible environmental threat.

Plastic Catch is a comprehensive role-playing experience designed to simulate different global scenarios that highlight relations between plastic pollution and other global scale processes, such as sea level rise, temperature rise, and overfishing. The goal of the game is to first demonstrate some of the lasting impacts of plastic pollution and then highlight the necessary steps to re-conceive ocean plastic waste as part of the solution. By simulating connections between people, multinational corporations and other interest groups Plastic Catch acts as a catalyst, triggering a paradigm shift, changing the overall way in which people relate to plastics. Plastic Catch is based on available data of plastic pollution and the estimated human impact on marine ecosystems.

The purpose being to (1) increase awareness (2) teach users about experts across different fields and real integrative solutions (3) help understand the links between marine industries and other existing infrastructures.

Up until now, the trash patch phenomenon has been a concern primarily in the realm of oceanography; Plastic Catch will help foster potential synergies and dynamic interactions across industries, organizations, and individuals. Linking key actors in the academic, scientific, entrepreneurial and public spheres; thus anticipating the beginning of an integrative system that can become a holistic model for this environmental challenge.