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From Haptic Robots to a Plastic Recycler, Here’s the Exciting Tech Heading up to Space

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It's an initiative by entrepreneur and engineer, Well now, they have a new technology, a way to tackle ocean plastic like never before, and I'm gonna get to talk to Boyan, on his computer, live from the Netherlands This is a One Small Step spotlight

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today I'm so excited to hear about your new project, The Interceptor, so will you just let us know what it is? Yes, at The Ocean Cleanup, our mission is to rid the world's oceans of plastic, and to do that we need to do two things: in the first place because otherwise, we'd have to just continue forever So for that, what we found is that They're the arteries that carry the trash from land to sea And, what we found is that 1,000 rivers, so 1% of rivers So that's why we thought, Well, that sounds doable to solve, but you do need something that's scalable, something can work around the world Hence, we developed The Interceptor, which is And, how does the technology work? The way it works is that rivers carry plastic and brings the plastic to a barrier

That first concentrates the plastic to the mouth of The Interceptor, where then we have the conveyor belt that scoops the plastic out of the water and distributes the plastic across six dumpsters, that then buffer the plastic so that periodically we can bring the plastic to land and take it away for recycling And, when will The Interceptor be released? We already have two interceptors operational right now Oh, cool One is deployed in Jakarta, the second one is in Malaysia And, we'll soon have, we each have already two others, that will be deployed in Vietnam and Dominican Republic

And, then starting next year, we will deploy another 10 before rapidly scaling-up We're really doing, all these And, you're called The Ocean Cleanup, so why pivot to rivers after, you know, doing all this, spending all this money, talking about the garbage patch to solve the plastic pollution problem We need to clean up the legacy, the stuff that's in the garbage patch It's not going away by itself, so we have to continue developing that technology and scale that up, but we would just have to continue forever if we don't tackle the source site of the problem as well

So we need to do both and we need to do both in parallel And, what's your opinion on the material plastic, after seeing its impacts on our waterways? Do you think that we need to rethink plastic all together? So plastic is still a great and very important material, yet at its current usage, current economics, surrounding it, I don't think it's having a net positive effect on the world So the usage system of the plastic has to change but I do think that it's going to take some time so hence, we have developed this Interceptor, you know, to prevent plastic from going into the oceans for coming decades, buying us time to solve these further upstream solutions as well And, I saw from a few weeks ago that you did collect ocean plastic for the first time on your new prototype So what was that experience like? And, what did you have to change to make it work? It was really quite complicated to get our ocean system to work

Doing something in the middle of the ocean is really tricky, these, sort of, unknown conditions but, yeah, we actually managed to make it work From very big discarded fishing nets, all the way down to micro-plastics, one millimeter in size So now, I think we have the tools, we have the technology capable of cleaning up both what's already in the ocean, as well as preventing more from reaching the oceans So what would be this small step that people can take to be more sustainable? I would encourage people to think about how they can use their, you know, their time, you know, their most valuable asset, their profession, and their ingenuity to see how they can maximize the positive impact on the world Amazing! Thank you so much for your time and I'm really excited to see how this technology works and what you guys are able to accomplish

Source: Youtube

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