Every year 80 million tons of litter enters the oceans due to improper disposal. Waste plastic makes up about 80% of marine debris. It is estimated that by 2050 if not sooner there will be more plastic than marine life floating around in the oceans. In the past decade or so, the marine debris has harmed the ocean’s ecosystem in drastic ways.
Governments and NGOs across the globe have been working to find a solution to this problem. Among the many, the invention of The Manta is probably the most innovative. The Manta is designed by the French yachtsman Yvan Bourgnon and his NGO The Sea Cleaners. It can collect about 10,000 tons of waste in a year.
How does The Manta work?
The attached nets on the yacht trap the waste one metre below the surface, while two smaller boats scoop the trash from shallow waters. The trash enters the yacht through conveyer belts where the crew sorts the material by hand. While they take the glass and metal back to the mainland to get recycled. The plastic is heated and melted onboard at high temperature. And the gas produced from it is used to fuel the boat along with wind turbines and solar panels.
Though it is just a design currently Bourgnon hopes that the prototype will be ready to sail by 2024. He says that a fleet of 400 can demolish a third of the ocean’s waste.
What’s your favourite plastic waste solution?