Few people have had more influence on global recycling in the last decade than young entrepreneur, Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of ‘The Ocean Cleanup’. His new technology has raised over 30 million euros and through a new technology that seeks to collect plastics from the sea waves via U-shaped screens that force material to a central point. This concentration of plastic can then be extracted and shipped to shore for recycling into new products. Slat’s research team has found staggering evidence that at a minimum over 1.15 million tonnes of plastic is washed into the ocean after being dumped in rivers every single year. The sea’s capacity to take waste long distances was recently confirmed at Henderson Island, over 5000 km away from civilisation when the island beaches were found littered with nearly 40 million pieces of plastic, and many hundreds of kilos of Aluminium cans.
Slat’s plan is that with the use of the new technology and backing from his supporters that it would be possible to eliminate 50% of ocean plastics by 2022. The new technology uses drifting systems of individual screens to collect plastics and make retrieval easy. Response to the new system and the positive support for his technology has been widespread and already product development of the recycled plastics has been tested on a range of products including plastics and even T-shirts.
Australian waterways sadly reflect global trends and with a need to continue to clean up our rivers, streams and ocean parks the incidence of aluminium cans remains a major worry to our environment. Whilst state governments have made positive steps in this area with recycling campaigns the community needs to remain vigilant. Recycling aluminium is a core competency of Recycal, as is its ability to work with the local community and a range of small, medium and large Australian companies, to assist in all aspects of recycling, from basic scrap metal recycling, to large scale transformer dismantling and everything in between.