Eight million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year making it one of the biggest threats society faces. Most of the plastic gets washed into the ocean by rivers, and 90% of the plastic waste comes from just ten of them. If this trend continues unabated there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
Recognizing the need to address the challenge of marine plastic pollution, Geocycle is piloting in India and France, a smart, non-invasive technology to efficiently remove plastics from rivers before they reach oceans. The collected plastic will then be reused by co-processing in cement plants.
To this end, Geocycle is partnering with CanadianPond to implement the ‘bubble curtain’ technology. Bubble curtain is a non-invasive solution to stop plastic from entering oceans. Ships and fish can pass through the air bubbles, but plastics will be stopped.
The bubble screen is created by a specially designed airtube which is placed diagonally on the river bed. It brings waste to the surface, channels the plastic on to the riverside, from where it will be extracted.
The projects in India and France will cover collection and the final co-processing of the non-recyclable fraction of the plastic waste by Geocycle.
Geocycle’s approach to river plastic cleaning is markedly distinct from other river cleanup projects such as Ocean Cleanup and The Great Bubble Barrier, which rely on landfilling or incineration to dispose off the collected plastic.
Geocycle’s vast co-processing infrastructure guarantees safe and environmentally friendly final management of the collected waste: co-processing recovers energy and recycles material value in waste, leaving no residues. Thus, these two technologies - bubble curtain and co-processing combined - offer a good opportunity to fight the challenge of marine littering by tackling the problem at source.