Gallery: BP Refuses to Use Donated Hair Mats to Clean Up Oil Spill


We’ve written about a number of alternative ways to clean up oil spills using natural non-toxic materials ranging from peat moss to mats made from recycled hair. However even in the wake of several failed attempts to stop the Gulf oil spill, the company refuses to pursue alternative methods of cleaning up its mess. Lisa Craig Gautier — president of Matter of Trust, a San Francisco nonprofit that has lobbied for the use of renewable, reusable hair booms and mats — told me yesterday that the group has received donations from thousands of salons, groomers and alpaca farmers and now has 19 warehouses in the Gulf Coast region full of volunteer-assembled booms and mats ready to be deployed. But BP has categorically refused to use them.

Initially, Gautier told me, BP’s booms department, Critical Resources Material Management, contacted the nonprofit and indicated that it would approve use of the hair products. But then it was unexpectedly elbowed aside by the PR department, which, as part of the Unified Command, issued a press release stating categorically that BP would not use hair booms.


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  1. WidiWidi July 3, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. MIAK96 July 2, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Robert0892, Wow, I’d like to correct you. I have yet to meet 1 person yet who isn’t fully disgusted & outraged as I am! Not sure where you’re meeting all the Americans lacking interest in protecting the environment, but if you’d take a few moments to research a fraction of the efforts, inventions, ideas that many Americans have come up with & use in efforts of helping the environment. Basically, our people are at the mercy of big government total take-over, can’t the entire world see that? BP (Oil, bankers,royal families & new world order elites) are completely running the show, they won’t consider letting us use the multi-100,000′s pounds of hair booms & many other safe & effective solutions to help, instead, BP is pouring their poisonous chemicals in the ocean to add to the catastrophy! Why? New coming Cap & Trade TAX! History always repeats itself, government creates a crisis for THEIR solution, which is obviously to obtain complete control/power. This is the beginning of horrible global “crisis/solutions” that are NOT in the best interest of the people NOR the environment, but for profit$! I’m affended by your post, as an American, I’m outraged about 98% of the way global facism portraits our people. We are not the free people we’d love to believe we are. You can just read over some of the executive orders waiting for martial law to kick in. We’re in a police state now, so you can take that smug pompeous attitude back to South Africa were the so-called ‘royal’racists that run that show keep you thinking how you think. Wake up from the Matrix.

  3. nickie.lyo June 28, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I’m from Chauvin, La. google it. Send me a bloom and i will try it.

  4. durangorob June 14, 2010 at 12:32 am

    I saw the use of the hair mat today on Fox News…its a remarkable idea…one square foot can absorb 1 quart of oil, and then the oil can be retrived and actually be used. The same mat then can be reused 200 times before it is discarded. So, if they make mats that are several hundred square feet think how much oil can be not only cleaned up, but that it does not go to waste. EPA says it has not been approved…get with EPA, its hair..people go into the ocean all the time and get their hair wet. BP get behind this and don’t be so egotistical to think that you should get all the credit for a cleanup idea. The idea is to just get it cleaned up!!!

  5. luminairex June 7, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Why are you asking BP’s permission? It’s not like they own the ocean they ruined. If you have the means to deploy them then do it.

  6. digitalbeardan June 5, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I suspect you are not spealing with the right Americans, as I can assure you that an overwhelming number of us are, in fact, horrified at this situation. I myself am from Pensacola Florida and am certain my home and the homes of my neighbors will not be the same again in my lifetime, to say nothing of the numerous species of plants and animals both in the gulf and the adjoining wetlands. The gas and oil giants should indeed be reigned in as you put it, yet doing so will require a global effort to combat companies like British Petrolium and Exxon. They wield a great deal of political and financial power internationally and unfortunately, we Americans, and many both developed and developing nations are firmly addicted to their “petro-drugs.” Conversion to a completely green economy will require generations of lives, resources, and technological innovations. I dream of the day that humanity will no longer suffer from short-sightedness, but will instead strive to become wise stewards of our limited natural capital for the sake of all our future generations.

  7. Kohak June 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Robert, BP stands for British Petroleum.

  8. JJ June 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I’m pretty sure that it’s not BP’s ocean, so we should categorically not care what BP’s decision is… Deploy the hair!

  9. Rebecca D June 4, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Let BP worry about the problem with containment at the site – why don\’t we all pitch in and use these solutions at the shoreline? There\’s going to be plenty to clean up along the coast,and who needs BP to OK the process?

  10. Robert0892 June 4, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Whomever suggested using hairmats should be commended. Its good to see keen interest in this serious environmental issues from the US. However, I just get the sense (and please correct me if Im wrong) that MOST Americans seem to think that throwing money at the problem will solve it. We are talking about monumental destruction to the biodiversity of the gulf which no amount of money can replace. The earth has a finite amount of resources contrary to what some may think. I think that the US should boycott BP and all its products. I think that Americans need to revaluate their wasteful lifestyles. Off-shore drilling is not necessary. People should be using less fuel and pursue cleaner forms of energy. America is supposedly a first world country and yet, the pursuit of dirty energy is so third world and old school. i.e. why doesnt the US get behind researching and developing cleaner energy in a bigger way?

    The worlds Oil and Gas giants should be reigned in. Their time needs to come to an end or we will continue to destroy our planet until there is nothing left to destroy.

    By the way, I am from South Africa and despite having met many Americans since this Oil spill occurred, I have yet to encounter a sense of disgust from them over BP or even a keen interest in trying to protect the environment. I am waiting patiently to be proved wrong in the hope that there ARE Americans who care.

  11. lgricketts June 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I think it is sad that they are not willing to consider anything other than what they think will work. Especially considering that nothing they have tried has worked. Not only not worked but has actually continued non stop for more time than they should have ever been given for the chance to clean it up! Someone needs to step in and start cleaning it up without their permission. Its an international area isn\’t it? They can keep trying to stop it, but let someone else start cleaning it up!

  12. Calvin K June 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I think it has to do with the corporate’s inferiority complex and arrogance. They need to use their own “high tech” solutions. Getting help from the “ants” (as how they might see the general population) is unthinkable.

  13. Vallejo June 3, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Does it work? Then get it done. We could all shave our heads as a sign of solidarity. I would certainly be willing to.

  14. mnorthcott June 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    who cares? just get them out there!

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