The problem of plastics in our seas and oceans is not a new one.
The "raw" material is plastic pellets, also called nurdles which are used to make nearly all plastic goods. How are these nurdles transported? You've guessed it - they are carried on ships... in the billions.
You may recall the X-Press Pearl, dubbed the "toxic ship" which caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka on 20 May 2021. The vessel was engulfed by flames by 27 May and declared a total loss. If the 46 different chemicals she was carrying wasn't bad enough, she was carrying billions of nurdles which were washed up on the Negombo beaches; wedged in the gills of fish; and present within the bloated stomachs of the local catch.
The local community has been devastated as fishing was swiftly banned in the affected area. Several people lost their income and livelihood practically overnight.
An exciting new partnership between Finnish company "RiverRecycle" and a UK-based renewable energy company "Clean Planet Energy" aims to address the problem of plastics in our waterways, seas and oceans. On paper, it is a happy marriage between two companies with distinct and yet interdependent functions.
RiverRecycle is concerned with waste management system installation on the shores of the most polluted rivers, essentially through the collection of plastic waste and floating debris. Whereas, Clean Planet Energy builds and operates ecoPlants, which are environmentally-friendly facilities that can convert non-recyclable plastic into ultra-clean fuel.
This ultra clean fuel is expected to provide CO2 emission reductions of over 75%, and reduce harmful air pollutants by up to 1,500x, the company claims. If this fossil fuel replacement lives up to expectation it could be a game-changer for the marine industry and potentially even rival (or surpass) the clean credentials of liquid natural gas.
Finnish waste management firm Riverrecycle and UK-based renewable energy company Clean Planet Energy have entered into an agreement to remove non-recyclable plastics from rivers and then repurpose the waste as new ultra-clean fuel for the marine sector.