The Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch non-profit organisation that develops advanced technologies aimed at ridding the world’s oceans of plastic. Before the end of 2025, they plan to take on the 1,000 most polluted rivers, which are responsible for about 80% of ocean plastic pollution.
On the 26th October 2019, Ocean Cleanup unveiled their latest ploy, The InterceptorTM; a machine that intercepts the flow of plastic at it’s source throughout the planet’s extensive river network.
“To truly rid the oceans of plastic, we need to both clean up the legacy and close the tap, preventing more plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place. Combining our ocean cleanup technology with the InterceptorTM, the solutions now exist to address both sides of the equation,” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup.
The InterceptorTM has been under development since 2015, and is the first scalable solution to obstruct plastic pollution found floating in rivers. It has the capacity to extract 50,000kg of rubbish every day, with the potential to reach 100,000kg per day when conditions are optimal.
To date, there have been four InterceptorsTM built, two of which are currently operational in Jakarta Indonesia, and Klang in Malaysia. A third model is awaiting installation in Chan Tho in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, while the fourth is set to launch in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. As well as these four systems, Thailand has agreed to deploy an InterceptorTM close to Bangkok, with an agreement near completion to host one in LA County, USA too.
The increased interest and successful deploying of these InterceptorsTM is extremely promising for both The Ocean Cleanup and the health of our planet. It shows people are not only taking the global issue of plastic pollution seriously, but implementing desperately needed change too.
After undergoing extensive research, The Ocean Cleanup found that out of the worlds 100,000 rivers, just 1% of them(1,000 rivers) are responsible for roughly 80% of all plastic entering the oceans. This research has culminated in the design and production of the InterceptorTM model.
It is environmentally friendly, being 100% solar powered, with onboard lithium-ion batteries that allow it to operate both day and night without any noise or exhaust fumes. The system is anchored to the riverbed to utilise the natural flow of the river and designed for autonomous 24/7 operation, catching plastic as it makes it way to the Oceans. This removes the need for manual work which is dangerous and time consuming.
A floating barrier directs the plastic debris, but only spans across a section of the river so as not to interfere with other river vessels, as well as removing the possibility of harming or impeding the movement of wildlife. These were crucial requirements for the InterceptorTM when being operated in major rivers. An onboard computer monitors the systems performance, as well as energy usage and component health.
The InterceptorTM 004 was recently publicly unveiled at a live-streamed event in the Port of Rotterdam, following the announcement that the Ocean Cleanup’s System 001/B operating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch(a clean up system currently undergoing continued performance testing) was successfully capturing and collecting plastic.
This is a huge step forward for the Ocean Cleanup and the future of our Planets oceans; We now stand a real chance as ceasing the suffocation of our oceans and waterways from plastic pollution.
Cheers to Ocean Cleanup and the InterceptorTM! Here’s to plastic-free oceans.