The area of Cape York was explored by discovering the lifestyle of inhabitants, education, transport and weather. The inhabitants' attitude and pride towards the “Country “was paramount in looking for solutions to reduce the waste problems.
Our team selected Marine waste as the prime target of concern. The main source of this waste is from countries like Papua New Guinea and Indonesia as sea currents transport their waste to Cape York.
The Group looked to create a model where PET waste could be bought from local recycling centres, prewashed, packaged and reused in a manufacturing process. The manufacturing process would use a newly discovered enzyme that “eats” plastic in our 'Bio-PET machine', which is harmless to the environment and wildlife. The product to be manufactured was polyester. The idea was to create an industry for the inhabitants which could eventually compete with the already existing mining industry. This would have the added benefit of having the income generated going back into the community. An incentive for the Australian government to fund the machinery, site location and employ staff locally would be to share in the profits. This would apply also to the enzyme manufacturing company, where free enzyme product would be donated in return for a pilot scheme in the area. If proved profitable then this could eventually replace the mining industry and reduce emissions for the country, serving as another incentive for the government.
Location sites were investigated, and the coastal mining town of Weipa was selected as a potential site as it contains a recycling centre, secondary schools and an already established infrastructure from which to operate.
This would reduce transportation logistics and costs of the raw material; give opportunities for children to learn manufacturing and provide options for employment for school leavers.