“We know that 80 percent of the waste in the world's seas comes from 1,000 rivers. Our ambition is to have as many Interceptors on those rivers as possible in five years' time. This way we can close off the main source of the plastic in the sea. ”
Rivers as the only landfill
These are the words of Dutchman Boyan Slat, the designer of the sweeper arm who has been collecting plastic from the Pacific since 2018. After adjusting the first version of the sweeper arm, it is now actually possible to fish plastic waste from the ocean. But a lot of floating waste in the Pacific comes from the slums of Asian metropolises, where the only dumping ground is often the rivers. “If we want to free the world's seas from plastic, we need to clean not only the oceans, but also the rivers. Because most plastic ends up in the sea via rivers. The Interceptor collects the plastic before it reaches the sea, ”says Slat.
Tests in Indonesia and in Malaysia
This Interceptor floats on the water like a catamaran and is 24 meters long. Solar panels and lithium batteries ensure a 100 percent climate-friendly drive of the engines so that the Interceptor can cruise day and night. A floating arm guides the waste to the front of the Interceptor where a conveyor belt takes the waste out of the water and then dumps it into containers. Once the containers are full, the local government can collect the waste ashore. The Interceptor could fish 50 to 100 tons of waste per day. Two Interceptors are currently sailing as a test, one in Indonesia and one in Malaysia.
© Photo The Ocean Cleanup