The EU is underwriting a pilot program that will let fishermen earn cash for ocean trash. If the plan works, it could not only help clean up the debris, but prevent the common practice of tossing up to two-thirds of edible fish caught in nets overboard to maximize profits when the opportunity to harvest a higher-value catch comes along.
Special junk-catching nets and equipment will be distributed to fishermen who wish to participate. They will be able to harvest plastic debris from the Mediterranean Sea and earn payment for their cleanup efforts. Though the program will be subsidized to begin with, the cash for ocean trash backers expect that funds from recycling all that plastic will one day make it self-sustaining.