The company “The Ocean Cleanup” is busy testing its modified “plastic replacement,” which is to clear up all the plastic in the Pacific. But what can we actually do with the plastic that comes out of the oceans? Researchers from Siemens Corporate Technology asked this question in the “Cleaning the ocean is our business” project. The researchers looked at how recycled plastic from oceans can be used for the production of reusable drinking cups.
Origin of ocean plastic unclear
The major challenge with ocean plastic is that the origin of the plastic found is not traceable. This makes the plastic less suitable for direct contact with food and drink. There are strict regulations and guidelines for food packaging.
Non-recyclable ocean plastic
The impact of the project, which is funded by Siemens’ internal crowdfunding program Quickstarter, goes further than the realization of the drinking cups. With this project they aim for three goals according to researcher Ingo Bernsdorf: the detection of plastic at sea, the collection of this waste and the processing or recycling of the collected material.
According to Bernsdorf, plastic that is not suitable for recycling can be converted into electricity by means of gasification in electricity.
Ocean plastic projects very interesting
Multinationals and smaller companies have been working for some time to find applications for ocean plastic. For example, furniture giant Ikea recently announced that a collection of ocean plastic in Italy and Spain will be launched in the fall. Recycled plastic from the Mediterranean Sea is used for collection. Carpet tile manufacturer Interface has been using fishing nets for carpets for a long time.
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