Laura and Chris Moriarity have had no expertise in ocean pollution or making prosthetic limbs—but they passionately believed they could tackle both issues with one solution.
Chris and Laura are the founders of the Million Waves Project, a charity that recycles ocean plastic into 3D-printed prosthetic limbs for needy people around the world.
38-year-old Chris was struck with inspiration for the project one night back in April. Two weeks later, he and his wife had the project up and running.
Currently, the couple prepares the plastic by cutting it up by hand and feeding it into a paper shredder, and then a 3D-printer. After that, they use an app to connect with people who need prosthetics so they can design the gadget specifically to their measurements.
The cheap materials means that each prosthetic costs roughly $45, which the Moriaritys fund through donations, sponsorships, and selling keychains on the charity’s website.
Since launching the initiative, they have donated 18 limbs to disabled individuals.
“The Million Waves Project brings together two unacceptable global situations and offers a practical and sustainable solution,” says the nonprofit’s website.
Chris and Laura are now working on obtaining a commercial-sized shredder so they can multiply their production ten-fold.
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