Ocean Cleanup looks to halt flow of plastic trash from Indonesian river

The Ocean Cleanup is possibly best known for deploying huge trash collectors to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but has also sought to prevent plastic waste from reaching the oceans. The latest Interceptor vessel will prevent around 1,000 tons of plastic flowing into the Java Sea each year from the Cisadane River in Indonesia.

The Interceptor was launched in October 2019, but model 001 was already on a cleanup mission at the Cengkareng Drain in Jakarta, Indonesia, by then, and was followed by similar operations in Malaysia and Vietnam.

Essentially a solar-powered barge that’s home to a conveyor system and a number of garbage bins, the vessel reaches out into the flowing river water with one or two floating barriers to guide plastic debris into its belly for subsequent on-shore collection and processing. It’s also capable of autonomous operation on the water.

The fleet now operates in five locations around the world, including Los Angeles, and has so far prevented more than two million kilograms of trash from reaching the world’s oceans – though The Ocean Cleanup says that “about 80% of riverine plastic pollution stems from 1,000 rivers” so there’s still work to be done.

Pollution at the mouth of the Cisadane River in Indonesia
Pollution at the mouth of the Cisadane River in Indonesia

The Ocean Cleanup

The Cisadane River is considered high priority by both The Ocean Cleanup and the Indonesian authorities, and will now see Interceptor 020 deployed by the end of 2023 in an effort to help Indonesia achieve a 70% reduction in marine plastic debris by 2025.

“We are pleased to support the involvement of The Ocean Cleanup and the Government of the Netherlands to deploy the Interceptor on the Cisadane River,” said Jarot Widyoko, Director General of Water Resources, Ministry of Public Works and Housing of Indonesia. “This is a step forward towards contributing together with the Government of Tangerang Regency to reduce the plastic waste from rivers into the ocean.”

This latest deployment is part of the Global Implementation Partnership inked with Coca-Cola in 2021, with financial support also coming from True Venture and ThatGamingCompany. Project partners include BBWS Cilliwung-Cisadane, Tangerang Regency – DLHK, and the Tanjung Burung Waste Bank. Other solutions in the Interceptor portfolio include a trash filtering fence, a standalone floating barrier and a small powered tender.

Source: The Ocean Cleanup

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