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Environment

Marius Smit, Netherlands

Marius Smit doesn’t have a job like everyone else: He's the world's first plastic fisher.

Marius spends his days boating along Amsterdam's beautiful canals - fishing out the plastic bottles dumped there. He uses the discarded bottles to build boats, then uses those boats to fish for more bottles. It's a seemingly endless cycle. But Marius' goal is to one day go out of business, as that would mean: clean canals.

Marius' mission is to not only clean up Amsterdam's canals, but to make the entire world's waters plastic-free by recognizing the value in plastic waste. To do this, he founded Plastic Whale, the first plastic fishing company.

Watch video 04:36

Netherlands: Amsterdam's plastic fishers

To get the canals cleaned up faster, Plastic Whale often organizes "fishing trips" for companies and volunteers. Several hundred people then get together on a boat, drinking, listening to music and hanging out in the sun, while at the same time fishing for plastic and doing the environment a favor. Companies like Tommy Hilfiger and even the Amsterdam police have already participated.

It's fun, and it's a good deed. But recycling plastic bottles doesn't just reduce solid waste pollution - it's also good for our climate. Why? Plastic is made from oil - a fossil fuel - and it takes a lot of energy to produce. Since the majority of the world's energy still comes from coal, recycling plastic reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The message: It doesn't make sense to use a plastic bottle only once, and then toss it into the trash (or the canal). And this is exactly what Marius wants to highlight - and to change.

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