Retrieving plastics from rivers, recycling and providing local waste management solutions
More than 8 million metric tonnes of plastic is estimated to enter our oceans each year, severely threatening marine wildlife and wreaking havoc on underwater ecosystems. Rivers act as the main vehicles for transporting land-derived plastic to our oceans, which once at sea is incredibly difficult to retrieve and travels around the globe. Preventing plastic waste from entering rivers, and the sea, is a key part in tackling the global issue of plastic pollution.
Based in Mumbai, this project addresses plastic waste entering the ocean via the Mithi River. The project focuses on both the collection and recycling of plastics. An innovative collection system automatically retrieves plastics from the river and is designed to withstand heavy periods of rain during the monsoon season. Once collected, plastics are sorted for mechanical or chemical recycling before being reprocessed into new marketable goods.
By providing a sustainable river-cleaning system and facilitating plastic recycling, this project has a number of environmental and social benefits. As plastics are prevented from entering the ocean, marine life is protected from the implications of waste. Improved waste management means quality of life is improved for local communities living along the Mithi river banks. Additionally, recycling plastics into reusable products adds value to 'waste', a crucial step in the transition towards a circular plastic economy.