The oceans represent more than 70% of the surface of our planet and are an essential aspect of human life. However, they are in danger: more than 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the oceans every year. If no action is taken, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fishes in the oceans.
The SeaCleaners, an NGO created in 2016 by French-Swiss navigator and explorer Yvan Bourgnon, is trying to battle plastic pollution through corrective and preventive actions. An Observer Member of the UN Environment Programme, supported by the Albert II Foundation of Monaco and CCI France International, The SeaCleaners has four objectives:
- Collection of floating plastic waste in seas, coasts and rivers before it breaks up and scatters, as well as organisation of clean-ups on land.
- Education and pedagogy, developing awareness-raising activities for the affected population, the public in general and decision-makers.
- Advancement of scientific research, through the observation, collection and documentation of scientific data.
- Transition towards a sustainable circular economy, based on the valorisation of collected waste.
The association’s flagship project is The Manta, a revolutionary vessel powered by renewable energy, which will be the first deep-sea vessel capable of collecting and mass-processing floating oceanic waste before it becomes fragmented into micro-plastics and enters the marine ecosystem in a lasting manner. The Manta will be able to store 150 tonnes of waste on her decks or in her hulls before bringing it ashore for treatment in waste treatment or recycling units, or for conversion into energy on board through her waste-to-energy unit. Research on the development of the Manta is ongoing, and it is planned to be built by 2022.
Find out more about The SeaCleaners on their website: https://www.theseacleaners.org/en
Partnership with EBI
EBI is strongly committed to reducing marine pollution and raising awareness of the issue among boaters, the general public and policy-makers. Hence, The SeaCleaners is a natural partner to EBI, given our common commitments and aims. EBI and The SeaCleaners signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2021 under which they become partners, promoting common activities and engaging in common communication actions.
The SeaCleaners will produce educational tools, such as a plastic waste collection manual, and it will invite boaters to participate in its voluntary observer programme, to carry out observation missions of floating plastic pollution in the most affected areas of the world. Boatbuilders and equipment manufacturers will also be offered the opportunity to contribute to the construction of the Manta (described above).
Read the press release on the EBI-The SeaCleaners partnership here.