Addressing the growing problem of ocean plastics using methods inspired by natural processes, modern technology, and history.
300 million metric tonnes of plastic are produced every year - much of this ends up in the Ocean. In the mid-1970s it was thought that most of this plastic derived from discarded trash by ocean-going vessels. Now, we know that in addition to marine-derived sources from fishing, aquaculture, petroleum, and shipping industrial sources, plastic debris in the oceans comes from terrestrial sources, exported by nearly all the major rivers of the world. These plastics are long-chain polymers that are extremely durable in the environment, which is in part, why they become troublesome pollution.
In the environment, they are frequently mistaken as food by fish and wildlife or they create entanglement hazards. By some estimates, 100,000 marine mammals die every year from ingesting plastics. In addition, untold millions of birds and fish suffer mortal consequences because they eat or are entangled in floating plastic, and more than half of all sea turtles have eaten plastic. In the North Pacific sub-tropical gyre (aka the Great Pacific Garbage Patch), it is estimated that fishes near the surface eat 12,000 to 24,000 tonnes of plastic every year.
In addition to direct morbidity and mortality caused by eating plastic, the less observable, and lesser-known delayed consequences such as reduced reproductive success in these organisms are extremely worrisome and should be researched further.
It is clear that plastic debris in the ocean has created a conservation biology emergency. We formed this company in response to this problem.
Legend has it that a siskowet trout contained sufficient energy stores that when tossed into the boiler, burned as hot as coal and could run the fishing boat. Taking inspiration from legend, we seek to integrate existing technologies to power a self-sustaining process to remove plastics from the World’s Oceans.
Table 1. Estimated time to achieve full coverage of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) using sweeper drones with 5m, 7.5m and 10m apertures on collection apparatus.
No. of Years to Years to Years to
Sweeper cleanup cleanup cleanup
Drones (5m) (7.5m) (10m)
10 3774 2516 1887
20 1887 1258 943
50 755 503 377
100 377 252 189
500 75 50 38
1000 38 25 19
5000 8 5 4
"...Upon reviewing your submitted Project Pitch, I am pleased to inform you that you are invited to submit a full proposal to the NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I program. " ...
We see infinite opportunities to improve the state of our knowledge around this topic. If you have research ideas and need a platform, give us a call. Let's help each other!