Worldwide, one in 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water, 2 out of every 5 people do not have the means of basic hand-washing practices, and more than 675 million people still practice open defecation. This Sustainable Development Goal, more than most, is perhaps a leading catalyst for the entire Plastics Pirate project – with Founder and Director Connor Clark’s passion for medicine and health care taking him to some of the most remote clinics in the world, and leading him down the path of plastic pyrolysis research after the staggering realisation that globally, one in four healthcare facility lacks basic water services.
While substantial strides have been made to increase access to safe water practices, literally billions of people throughout the world (2.2 billion people for clean drinking water, and 4.2 billion people with a lack of adequate sanitation) still do not have appropriate means to access this basic human right.
This right is perhaps more important now more than ever in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic currently impacting our species on a global scale. According to the World Health Organisation, hand washing is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of sanitation, hygiene and adequate access to clean water for preventing and containing diseases – this is an issue that effects all of us, and it’s time we started viewing the frightening lack of basic resources for major proportions of the worlds population with proportionate importance.
A 40 per cent shortfall in freshwater resources by 2030, coupled with a unprecedented rising world population has the planet careening towards a global water crisis. Plastics Pirate in partnership with Elemental Water Makers hopes the implementation of safe water access solutions and the removal of plastic from waterways of remote coastal communities will begin to vastly improve this situation, both in terms of clean drinking water, and the means to safe and effective sanitation.