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Plastic waste in our oceans is a massive problem. Removing the waste is crucial for protecting marine ecosystems. Luckily, The Ocean Cleanup has come up with a new solution stopping plastic waste from entering the oceans via rivers - a solar-powered barge.
The solar-powered barge is called “Interceptor” and is 24 meters long. It resembles a large houseboat and uses curved barriers to catch waste floating downstream. Breaking Asia explained that the trash which consists of mostly plastic, “is directed to the “mouth” of the barge — which operates autonomously and silently — from where it rolls up a conveyor belt and is dropped into dumpsters.” The Interceptor can capture up to 50 tons of waste every day.
In Malaysia, the Klang River currently hosts one of these new innovations. Sadly, the Klang River sends more than 15 000 tons of plastic to the oceans annually. Another barge is located in Jakarta and two others will be sent to the Dominican Republic and Vietnam.
“The Klang river was like a floating landfill,” said Syaiful Azmen Nordin, managing director of the Malaysian firm to Breaking Asia.
“Boats could not pass through, and there was a lot of plastic. Now you can see the river is generally free from floating debris.”
The Ocean Cleanup hopes that this project will have a big impact globally in the fight against the waste crisis.