Thank you for the inspiring story of six-year-old Andrew LeCompte and his father, Michael (“Happening People” by Paul Neevel, 8/12). Andrew’s eagerness to help, combined with his natural curiosity, give me confidence that we can overcome our civilization’s formidable waste problems. If we had more comprehensive and understandable recycling, it would help, but being awash in discarded, polluting plastics, like those Andrew fishes from the river every day, makes the task feel hopeless
Fortunately on that issue, entrepreneurial solutions are rapidly emerging. People at NoPlasticWaste.org are building a movement to make it cheaper to recycle plastic than to manufacture it from the start. That concept would flip the economic incentive and create millions of jobs around the world collecting it and making it into new products. Many of the products will be made from turning trashed plastic back into oil rather than pumping new oil from the ground, a process that’s been around for over a quarter of a century. Recent, highly efficient systems, such as those developed by scientist Len Humphreys (Licella.com.au) are now posed to recycle the mess we’ve made, a mess that little Andrew LeCompte is trying his best to clean up practically all by himself.