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Ocean waste that floats our boats!

Environment > Ocean waste that floats our boats!

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From boats that turn waste into fuel, to boats literally made from recycled plastic – check out these nautical #DifferenceMakers!

26 August 2021, 5:25 PM


Have you heard about these ferry impressive stories?

First up is a French ocean explorer, Yvan Bourgnon, who has designed a boat that will collect plastic waste from the ocean and convert it into fuel to power itself. Canoe think of anything cooler? (alright, we’ll stop now)

The Manta is the first of its kind and has waste collecting conveyors and a microplastic collection area. The conveyor belts scoop and sort plastic waste before feeding it into a burner, where it is then melted down to produce a gas that drives the turbine, generating electricity to power the boat’s systems.  

The boat also has a hybrid system which features on-deck solar cells and wind turbines which, combined with the electricity generated, will make the Manta 70% energy self-sufficient – buoy, that’s cool! #sorrynotsorry

With around 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in our oceans, scientists predict that ocean plastic will outweigh all of the ocean’s fish by 2050, so we need to act now! Many of us have committed to embracing reusable products and limiting our single-use plastic which will help to reduce future plastic waste contamination, but the Manta can help to solve the issue of the existing plastic already polluting our oceans.  

Bourgnon has joined forces with the environmental non-profit SeaCleaners, five research labs and twenty organisations - with the hope of launching the first prototype for the design in 2024. If 400 of these boats were to be made, it is estimated that they could clean up one-third of the plastic that is currently sitting in our oceans – how amazing is that?!

The boats can operate on their own for 20 hours a day, seven days a week, collecting between one and three tons of waste every single hour (Speedy Gonzales). Bourgnon also hopes that the Manta will serve as an education platform and scientific laboratory to study plastic pollution…we are SO on board!

Speaking of educating people about this issue, here’s another sea-sational story: a boat made from recycled plastic in Bristol is teaching children about the true impact of plastic pollution.

The Seacycler runs plastic fishing trips to clear polluted waterways of rubbish and demonstrate the value of recycling. On these trips, people can see for themselves what the most commonly littered items in the harbour are. A lot of the time, people drop litter in the city and don’t realise that it can find its way into the harbours, and then the rivers, and then end up polluting the ocean.

So, anchors away! It shore looks as though it could be smooth sailing towards Sustainability Island based on the efforts of these amazing #DifferenceMakers.

Do you know of any other cool initiatives making waves to clean up our oceans? Head over to @realdiffmakers on your social channel of choice and let us know.  

Next article: Cow proteins without the cow – an udderly incredible invention!

Warning: may blow your mind!

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