Ocean Cleanup partners “Interceptor” production / Sunglasses from ocean plastics waste
The Ocean Cleanup (TOC, Rotterdam / The Netherlands; is outsourcing production of its planned fleet of “Interceptor” vessels designed to tackle the problem of plastics waste at its principal source, in rivers. The Dutch-based non-profit has entered a partnership with Konecranes (Hyvinkää / Finland;, a manufacturer of lifting equipment, to design, manufacture and service the vessels. Models 005 and 006 are currently being manufactured simultaneously at Konecranes’ MHE-Demag facility in Klang / Malaysia, and are expected to be completed in May 2021.

In future, the Finnish company will handle all Interceptor manufacturing, installation and maintenance, while its local partners will oversee operations. The Ocean Cleanup will continue to act as the technology and “best practices” provider as well as lead business development for upcoming Interceptor projects. In late 2019, the anti-pollution initiative introduced its first Interceptor, one of the line of vessels conceived to capture debris from the world’s 1,000 most polluting waterways. The timetable called for launch of the river programme before the end of 2025 (see of 06.11.2019).

Currently, The Ocean Cleanup has three such vessels, deployed in Jakarta / Indonesia, and Santo Domingo / Dominican Republic, in addition to Malaysia. A fourth is expected to be launched in Vietnam early this year. This project complements the organisation’s efforts to clean up the vortex of debris known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). In December 2020, it announced it was testing the plastics retention system of its solar-powered marine vessel made of UHMW-PE with its partner, the Danish shipping giant Maersk, before launching its ocean cleaning System 002.

Over the past year and a half, the project started in 2013 by young entrepreneur Boyan Slat, which now employs some 95 engineers and researchers, says it has used the insights from the pilot systems to understand and further develop the technology for more efficient mass production. Upgrades already achieved in cooperation with MHE-Demag include changes to the conveyor, shuttle, dumpsters and barge. These have been incorporated into the third-generation design, which served as the blueprint for the 2020 and 2021 Interceptor models.
Sustainable sunglasses from ocean waste
Meanwhile, The Ocean Cleanup is creating a kind of circular economy of its own, now recycling plastics from its first catch during the System 001/B campaign in the GPGP to make sunglasses. It is the first time the waste catch has been recycled commercially. The fashion objects can be purchased for EUR 199 each to help fund continuation of the clean-up. All proceeds will go directly to upcoming operations. Each pair sold will facilitate the cleaning an equivalent of 24 football fields worth of the patch’s debris, the initiative says.

The shades, created by California designer Yves Béhar and his team and made in Italy by leading Italian eyewear manufacturer Safilo, contain plastics certified to be from the Pacific gyre. Sunglasses were chosen as the first product because The Ocean Cleanup says it wants to “offer something that is durable and useful and reminds users of the beauty and importance of our oceans.” The case is made of recycled material from system 001, deployed in 2018. All components reportedly can be recycled again, if necessary.
05.01.2021 [246587-0]
Published on 05.01.2021

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