The people of Mauritius are cutting off their hair to soak up the catastrophic oil spill

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Thursday 13 August 2020 13:30
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(Getty)

How do you deal with devastating pollution?

For the people of Mauritius, the answer lies at home.

More specifically, in their hair.

The country is currently in a state of emergency after an oil tanker hit a coral reef on 25 July.

The tanker began leaking oil into the idyllic waters of the Indian Ocean that surround the island nation, with up to 1000 tons of the pollutant already thought to have made it into the sea.

A further 2500 tons remain on board the ship.

The disaster is being called the one of the worst ecological crises Mauritius has ever had to face and the government has already said they don’t have the funds to deal with it, calling on France for help.

The oil spill places thousands of animals at risk, with the likes of turtles, tropical fish and rare corals facing severe damage to themselves and their habitat.

With a lack of help forthcoming, the people of Mauritius have had to take matters into their own hands by making hand-crafted barriers to prevent the oil making it further onto the reefs.

These barriers are woven from straw, sugar cane and… human hair.

These are then stuffed into fabric sacks.

Hair is a great absorbent for oil – according to MP Joanna Berenger, one kilogram of hair can absorb eight litres of oil.

With plenty of it on their heads, Mauritians are getting a chop to try and save their island.

People are even encouraging others to donate their hair with social media ‘challenges’.

Local barbers are also offering free hair cuts for those donating which former Mauritius ruler France is sending 20 tons in support.

Amazing work. 

Although, imagine a world where they didn't have to do this in the first place?

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