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Dump on Malaysia

Reliant upon bad habits

Malaysia in the news for rejecting our rubbish

The more I innovate, the more I realise my efforts are reliant upon the bad habits of humans. The dump on Malaysia stories in the press offers a great example. It seems I get involved in technology and ingenuity that plug the gaps a decent conscience would never have opened in the first place.

Long-term abuse

Recently I wrote a successful bid with a client and the Satellite Applications Catapult (the arms-length space accelerator set-up by the government). The proposal responded to a plea from the embattled Malaysian Government – an institution highly conscious of its own long-term dumping abuse by more ‘developed’ nations.

Latest available remote sensing data

Like most of the location service and data bids I help, the project (now the Earth and Sea Observation System for Malaysia) exploits the latest available remote sensing data and services. In this case the satellite data including that from the EU’s Sentinel programme to achieve three important things.

  1. Prosecute illegal loggers
  2. Stop the illegal dumping of waste oil and bilge near the delicate Malaysian mangroves and
  3. Support early warnings for the growing number of floods in the region.

If the conditions weren’t set to favour destruction

It’s all worthy stuff. But look at it this way. If the conditions weren’t set to favour destruction, how better might these innovations serve man?

Second life

Even with SplashMaps, a business set-up to help people engage more with the outdoors, there’s a similar story to tell.

SplashTex gives bottles a more purposeful second life as a map

We developed SplashTex™ – a unique fabric fully recycled from the EU’s bottles – to give potentially dumped bottles a second life as maps and fine-print scarves. Bit by bit, a demand for properly sorted plastic emerges. A neat way to eat into the plastic mountains we now dump on Malaysia? But why do we drink from plastic bottles in the first place?

We developed SplashTex to eat into the plastic mountain

Positive actions that serve the planet

Do us a favour World! Have a conscience -deny your innovators a need for clean-up innovations – and let’s turn our minds to positive actions that serve the planet, and not just those that patch it up. Do we have to get involved with the inevitable post-apocalyptic clean-up?

David Overton is MD of SplashMaps and dbyhundred Ltd, He is an innovation professional with degrees in Engineering and Marketing and a speciality in new-to-the-market products and writing amazing bids.

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