Environment

Ocean Cleanup gets ready to tackle world's most polluting rivers

Ocean Cleanup gets ready to ta...
For the third generation Interceptor, improvements have been made to the conveyor, shuttle, dumpsters and barge
For the third generation Interceptor, improvements have been made to the conveyor, shuttle, dumpsters and barge
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A long floating barrier guides plastic trash from rivers onto a conveyor belt and into a number of dumpsters
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A long floating barrier guides plastic trash from rivers onto a conveyor belt and into a number of dumpsters
Assembly of Interceptor pontoons for series production being undertaken by Konecranes
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Assembly of Interceptor pontoons for series production being undertaken by Konecranes
The Ocean Cleanup Interceptor is now entering its third generation, with the non-profit partnering with Konecranes for series production
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The Ocean Cleanup Interceptor is now entering its third generation, with the non-profit partnering with Konecranes for series production
For the third generation Interceptor, improvements have been made to the conveyor, shuttle, dumpsters and barge
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For the third generation Interceptor, improvements have been made to the conveyor, shuttle, dumpsters and barge
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Though The Ocean Cleanup is already removing plastic waste from oceans and turning it into consumer products, the non-profit also has a small number of river vessels tackling the pollution problem at its source. Now the organization is ramping up production of these Interceptors, with a thousand of the world's most heavily polluting rivers in its sights.

The Ocean Cleanup currently has three Interceptors scooping up plastic waste from rivers in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Dominican Republic. A fourth is ready to rock in Vietnam, but has suffered delays and is due to launch early next year.

The Interceptors are anchored to the riverbed and use a long floating boom to guide plastic trash into an opening to the front and onto a conveyor belt that moves the waste into a bunch on bins. Onboard sensors alert local operators when the bins need emptying, then the plastic waste is routed to local facilities for processing.

The Ocean Cleanup has used data from these pilot operations to inform the design of the next wave of Interceptors, with upgrades to the conveyor, shuttle, dumpsters and barge all being incorporated into the third generation design.

A long floating barrier guides plastic trash from rivers onto a conveyor belt and into a number of dumpsters
A long floating barrier guides plastic trash from rivers onto a conveyor belt and into a number of dumpsters

A partnership with Konecranes has now been formed to prepare for global expansion of the Interceptor project. The company's MHE-Demag facility in Klang, Malaysia, is already working on the fifth and sixth river trash removers, with completion expected in May 2021. Konecranes will then take care of manufacturing, installation and maintenance of future vessels, with local partners overseeing operations.

"At the end of a very challenging year, I am happy to see series production begin for the Interceptor," said The Ocean Cleanup CEO, Boyan Slat. "It is a necessary step for us to tackle the global flow of plastic pollution to our oceans at scale. I believe Konecranes is well-suited for the job and we look forward to seeing them build many more Interceptors in the coming years. I am thankful for their commitment to clean oceans."

Source: The Ocean Cleanup

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9 comments
Signguy
Why is it that people can't keep their trash in bins where it belongs? If everyone were taught personal responsibility, this wouldn't be necessary!
PaleDale
Have you eve been to Thailand? I did a family vacation there around 7 years ago and its 100% the local councils fault. There are very few rubbish bins and they are overflowing before mid morning so the rubbish just gets blown into the street then ends up and drains and it all flows out into the oceans . The amount of rubbish in the oceans there is appalling I wont go back there or any of those tourist locations in Asia. Some of the tourist $$ needs to go back into keeping those places clean, more bins, empty them more often and impose fines for people dropping rubbish on the ground, this would raise more revenue to help and also encourage people to do the right thing.
akarp
Cleaning up after ourselves is a constant evolution...
Good move for Slat to pivot to river cleanup. But who will actually take on the problem in the middle of the ocean?

Bins will help with macro plastic yes, but what about microplastics? What about pharmaceuticals? Or Carbon?
Graeme S
The issue is not the pollution / rubbish itself, it is and always has been the heart of the individual.
Our world today wants people to do the right thing but the right thing has become very subjective, and the individual simply does not care to do the right thing, from the least to the most important, and this has come about because we think we humans can rule ourselves well.
We have walked away from truth and made our own truth, that which suit ourselves and we now bear the consequences of that decision.
CarolynFarstrider
I'm glad this is happening, but this venture is not, as the article suggests, 'cleaning up pollution at source'. The source is the producers and purchasers of the plastic. Nor will 'The Ocean Cleanup' directly affect microplastics ending up in the sea. Much more needs to be done to tackle this problem through national and international legislation .
SteveMc
It’s a great thing to be able to judge these ‘Asian’ and comparable poor countries whilst sitting on our expensive devices, connected to the internet in our multi hundred thousand bucks homes. Try being uneducated, working 18 hour days and still coming home to a tin shack with a single persons portion of food to feed a whole family (the lucky ones), a stream of excrement running in a ditch out front and see how much you know (or are aware) about pollution.
ljaques
TOC, why aren't there 100 of these in rivers around the world by now? Stopping the distribution of trash RIGHT NOW is much more important than endzone collection. That said, bravo on staging the sole waterway trash collection stations in the entire world. The new Interceptors are gorgeous! Boo/Hiss, Malaysia/Indonesia/India/China/Philippines for the enormous trash streams, and Bravo, Western World, for your attention to reducing waterway littering. https://theoceancleanup.com/sources/
Dan Lewis
It's tragic, in a funny way.
We only need THOUSANDS of these barge things.
Right now, it looks like were waving a feather at a hurricane.
Bruce H. Anderson
Let me get this straight. Deploying lots of machines to clean up the garbage that people are dumping into rivers. Seems like allopathic environmentalism.