• Plastics that invade the sea poison fish and birds, entering the food chain and even the food we eat.
  • That’s why Boyan Slat, the young Dutch inventor who founded The Ocean Cleanup, wants to clean up the oceans.
  • The more than eight million tonnes of plastic that end up in the sea every year become more and more dangerous for marine fauna as they break up and are mistaken for food.
  • Almost all Pacific albatrosses now have plastic fragments in their stomachs, which kill more than a million seabirds every year, according to UNEP.
  • It’s not widely known that nearly 90 per cent of the plastic that ends up in the ocean has been transported there by one of 10 great rivers, the most polluted in the world: Yangtze, Nile, Ganges, Indus, Yellow River, Hai he, the Pearl River, Amur, Niger and Mekong.
  • A startup called SEADS, an acronym for Sea Defence Solutions gave birth to the Blue Barriers, a system that can be replicated and adapted to fit any river from the Nile to the Ganges.
  • There are two floating barriers, positioned diagonally on the river and slightly offset, so as to create a current that transports waste to the bank, where a collection basin is built to accumulate, collect and then send the waste to be sorted.
  • The two barriers are made of recycled plastic, rigid and resistant enough to survive floods or the impact of large objects carried by currents, such as trees.
  • Ideally, the barriers should be installed as close as possible to the mouth of the river.
  • Next to each couple of barriers, sorting centers will be created, which could also receive waste from nearby urban and industrial areas, so as to generate profits for local communities.
  • The project is expected to bring social benefits as well.