Plastic waste is a huge problem and it is polluting our rivers. It is estimated that 1% of the world’s 100,000 rivers are responsible for roughly 80% of garbage that enters the oceans. The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch-based company claims to have a sustainable solution with The Interceptor.
It is a 100% solar-powered barge that can remove plastic waste without interfering with other vessels or impede the movement of wildlife. What’s interesting is that there’s a unit here in Malaysia and it’s currently cleaning up the Klang River.
The Interceptor measures 24 metres long and it uses solar to power its autonomous extraction system. It has a 20kWh Li-ion battery and solar panels with a capacity of 5.6 kWp.
To collect plastics from the river, it has a conveyor belt that has a maximum extraction rate of 24 kg per second. On the inside, it has multiple dumpsters and it’s smart enough to distribute the rubbish evenly. When the dumpsters are full, it will send a message to the cloud via 4G and the operator can empty the contents for further recycling.
The Interceptor is capable of extracting 50,000 kg of rubbish per day and it could extract up to 100,000 kg per day under optimised conditions. The first prototype interceptor was deployed in Jakarta, Indonesia and the second unit which is a full-fledged unit is now operating in the Klang River as part of the Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG) initiative under the Menteri Besar Inc.
According to TheStar, clean up exercise is provided free of charge with The Ocean Cleanup collaborating with Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd (LLSB), a state-government linked company. LLSB managing director, Syaiful Azmen Nordin shared that the Interceptor had initially sucked 1,200 to 1,500 kg of rubbish per day but now it has reduced to 800 to 900 kg daily. He said added that this reduction is a sign that garbage in the Klang River had lessened.
After Indonesia and Malaysia, The Ocean Cleanup has planned to deploy its third system in Can Tho, Mekong Delta in Vietnam and a fourth unit is to be installed in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Other countries have also expressed interest to deploy the solution and this includes Thailand and the USA.