12-Year-Old’s Solution to Our Oceans’ Plastic Waste Crisis Is Beginning to Turn Heads

(YouTube Screenshot | TED-Ed Student Talks)
(YouTube Screenshot | TED-Ed Student Talks)
BY DANIEL KISH

Asian News International (ANI) caught up with Haaziq Kazi—a now-12-year-old prodigy based in Pune, India—and his big plans for tackling one of our world’s most significant issues: plastic waste polluting  our oceans and marine life.

While most 9-year-olds are content waking up to watch their Saturday morning cartoons, getting the newest Call of Duty, or catching the latest upload from PewDiePie—a man who is renowned for amassing an “army” of 82 million 9-year-olds on YouTube—it’s safe to say that “tackling one of the most difficult issues currently known to mankind” is pretty far removed from their day planners.

While that’s true for most, Kazi hasn’t been content with falling in line and sitting idly by as we put both feet into a plastic-filled grave.

Kazi said in a recent interview:

I watched some documentaries and realized the impact waste has on marine life. I felt I had to do something. The fish we eat in food are eating plastic in the ocean so the cycle of pollution comes to us and that is even affecting human lives. Hence, I came up with ERVIS.

“The saucers use centripetal force to suck in the waste, which is then segregated between water, marine life and waste. Marine life and water are sent back to the ocean, while the waste is [separated] into five more parts,” he explains when asked about the nuts and bolts of his concept.

Kazi’s answers were all delivered with remarkable poise and detail, and that’s because he’s had some practice emptying out what goes on inside that prodigious noggin. In 2018, he went in-depth about the details of ERVIS at a TEDxGateway event in Mumbai.

During his speech, Kazi revealed that the idea for the physics behind his project came to him while washing his hands. His mother said he needed to go clean up before supper, and clean he did as Kazi exited the restroom with a pair of spotless phalanges accompanied by a clean mind, fresh off an epiphany.

Kazi claims he’s already built and tested the first ERVIS prototype as a proof of concept within the confines of his bathtub—it lasted about seven seconds before breaking apart, but it achieved the desired effect.

Those TED talks have, reportedly, garnered attention from various international organizations and scholars, but he reports the project is still in its infancy. “It is still in the initial phases. It will have to go through multiple stages and trials along with substantial funding before a fully operational ERVIS comes out in the oceans,” Kazi said to Al Arabiya English.

He intends to create a fully autonomous ERVIS ecosystem that will quietly chug away, sucking up the spoils of humanity’s war against mother nature. While tossing that recyclable into the trash can is an afterthought for many, Kazi feels a sense of responsibility and duty having been a part of the problem, even at such a young age.

©Shutterstock | Rich Carey
©Shutterstock | Rich Carey

“We all have in some manner contributed and created this ocean waste problem, and if we don’t make smart choices or change the way we consume plastic in a more responsible manner, this problem will not only persist, but it will aggravate.” And he’s right, you know. Let’s take a page out of this 12-year-old’s book and do our part. Keep on keepin’ on, Kazi, and the best of luck to you in your aquatic trash-collecting endeavors.

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