72ºF

Couple turns ocean plastics into prosthetics for needy

photo

ANACORTES, Wash. – A Washington state couple is taking trash they find on local beaches and using it to help people who have lost limbs. 

From their humble home office, using plastic they've found on their local beach, Laura and Chris Moriarty are turning plastic into prosthetic hands for people around the world. 

The couple runs the nonprofit Million Waves Project. 

Chris Moriarty said, "Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to take something deplorable in this sense and something heartbreaking in this sense, put them together and see what we could do?" 

Retired pediatric nurse Jodi Shafer consults on the project. 

Shafer said, "It's just a cool feeling to take something so simple and make a huge impact on someone's life."

The plan is to buy an industrial shredder, partner with groups currently working to fish plastics from the giant garbage patch in the Pacific, and give free limbs to the estimated 40,000 people around the globe who need them. 

Laura Moriarty said, "It is daunting. Life is daunting. But like we tell our kids, that doesn't mean you don't move forward and you don't try."

In just two months, they've distributed 16 prosthetics. It's only a handful in the big picture, but they're making a dent. 

Laura Moriarty said, "Because if you get enough dents, you get enough people chipping away. we can make a significant impact."

For more information on the project, click here.