“The topic of plastic waste in the oceans is omnipresent. However, there is still a lack of viable concepts that can be implemented to quickly combat plastic waste in the sea. Utopias don’t help us,” explains Günther Bonin, founder of One Earth – One Ocean. “Our concept is a well thought and pragmatic approach, already been partially tested and continuously optimized. Now, we want to take the next big step”.
The concept of maritime waste collection envisions a fleet of special workboats with materials-handling equipment for collecting plastic waste from the sea. The first of these so-called SeeKuh has been in service since 2017 and was financially supported by the Röchling Foundation.
The idea sounds easy: The fleet of these ships take the collected plastic waste to the SeeElefant – a converted multi-purpose freighter that will have on-board facilities for sorting, crushing, processing and pressing marine waste. The plastic will be pressed into single-variety plastic bales and later be recycled. All of this on board of the freighter. In a few years’ time, with the availability of depolymerization plants suitable for industrial use, plastic will then be oiled directly on board.