While removing the plastic waste that currently contaminates the ocean today will be crucial for protecting marine ecosystems, it is arguably more important that we stop any more plastic trash from entering the ocean. Fortunately for humanity, The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit taking on plastic waste in the ocean today, also has a novel solution for stopping plastic from entering it via rivers.
The solution comes in the form of a solar-powered barge named the “Interceptor”. The 24-meter-long (78 feet) vessel resembles a large houseboat and uses a curved barrier to catch waste floating downstream. The trash, much of it 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. Apparently, the Interceptor is capable of collecting up to 50 tons of waste a day.