Interviews with Innovators – WasteShark: Continuously working to improve water quality

December 22, 2022

In the United States, South Korea, South Africa, Australia and various places in Europe, the innovative cleaning robot WasteShark is already being used to fish floating debris out of the water. Since last week, one has also been ‘swimming’  through the canals of Zaanstad , the first in the Netherlands. And that is striking, because RanMarine, the company behind the WasteShark, is located in Rotterdam. We interviewed the creator and CEO Richard Hardiman and the Dutch consultant Peter Kwakernaak about this smart cleaning robot and the plans that lie ahead.

Litter fishing

The idea for the WasteShark came to South African born and raised Hardiman in 2009 over a cup of coffee in Cape Town. “I had some spare time during my studies and went to get a cup of coffee at the V&A Waterfront. As I sat there I saw two men fishing garbage out of the waters of the harbour with a long net. They did it that way every day. I come from a family of engineers and immediately thought: ‘Surely there must be more efficient ways?’. My thoughts ran wild and I soon had the first ideas for a robot that fished up the litter in my head. I had no destination for it at the time, but the idea stuck in my head for a few years anyway. Eventually someone said to me: ‘if you don’t do anything with it, someone else will’.”


That was about the same time Boyan Slat drew attention to his ‘Ocean Cleanup’ and the problem of plastic in the oceans. This made it clear to Hardiman that there was a real need for cleaner water solutions to prevent microplastics from reaching the oceans. He decided to further develop his idea and build a prototype. “Once that was done, I thought it was time to start working with people who can do this much better than me,” says Hardiman with a laugh. In 2016, for example, he came into contact with the Port XL Accelerator program in Rotterdam. After a selection procedure, the innovation was further developed at the  RDM  site in Rotterdam with the help of experts and investors.

richard-hardiman-interview-waterrecreatie-nederland-wastesharkAbout three years ago, RanMarine went on its own two feet. It was decided to no longer work with external consultants, but to employ the developers in order to create more connection with the product. The company now employs about 25 people and is working on new models. An office in the United States (Florida) has also recently been opened.


On its own website, RanMarine describes the WasteShark as an ‘Autonomous Surface Vessel’ or ASV for short. The name refers to the whale shark -or Whale Shark-, which swims slowly on the surface water and eats plankton there. The WasteShark does the same thing, but with floating litter. It is a kind of catamaran with a basket between the floats in which the junk is collected. The hull is powered by two electric motors. There are two versions, a remote-controlled one and a ‘smarter’ one that can be programmed to keep an area clean without bumping into anything. A total of about 6 hours can be sailed, during which a maximum of 350 kilograms of waste can be ‘caught’. The WasteShark itself has a weight of 72 kilos and is small enough to be transported in a car.

“The idea has always been to catch ‘fresh plastic’ while it still floats on the surface. Then it is still quite easy to fish out of the water. Before it breaks into pieces or can become microplastic. It becomes more difficult if it disappears under water or is carried by the current to the sea.” says Hardiman. “We found out that one of the reasons there was so little waste disposal was because it was just a hassle. For example, if you need a boat to reach certain places. So we had to make that easier and we succeeded with the WasteShark.”

The WasteSharks don’t just fish waste out of the water. Especially in the United States, they are also used to remove excessive algae growth and thus contribute to better water quality. In addition, the WasteSharks can also collect data about water quality, such as acidity and temperature. Those interested can find a demonstration video of the WasteShark on YouTube .


There are now about 70 WasteSharks in operation worldwide, including at major parties such as Disney, the United Nations, Houston Harbor and the World Wildlife Fund. They are used in various places, such as amusement parks, (marina) harbours and nature reserves. Hardiman adds: “I have always had the feeling that we are really a Dutch company. But we just don’t have many customers here. That is the goal for the coming years, to have more WasteSharks swimming around in our own country”.


That is also one of the reasons that Peter Kwakernaak is connected. The two have a connection via South Africa, where Kwakernaak had a  guesthouse for a while  . Back in the Netherlands, the native Hagenaar had the desire to undertake more sustainable activities. “So I started helping Richard to further expand his network in the Netherlands. There was something very beautiful in Rotterdam, it cannot be that a pearl of Dutch  green tech  is Rotterdam’s best kept secret.” says Kwakernaak.

Expand in the Netherlands

Both do not see the fact that the roll-out in the Netherlands is not yet automatic as something negative. Hardiman: “The adoption of ‘ new-tech’  always takes time, especially in a more traditional sector such as the maritime sector. In other countries, such as the US, this is faster. I don’t see that as a bad thing, it ensures that everything here in the Netherlands remains nice and stable. So we have to let our products prove themselves, so that they will also be bought here. Zaanstad is a first example of this, we receive good feedback and data that we can also use for other cities. It is also not a product that you are immediately convinced of after reading the brochure, you have to see it for yourself. We will be organizing many demonstrations in the coming months, visiting trade fairs and this is how the WasteShark will have to prove itself.”

“Fortunately, we are already seeing that happen,” Kwakernaak adds. “A number of users have now opted to expand the ‘fleet’ and purchase more WasteSharks from RanMarine. That is of course a good sign. Together with an expansion of our portfolio, I see significant growth in the coming period.”


Kwakernaak sees many opportunities for what they call ‘sponsorships’ for a further expansion of the fleet. “You could also use the WaterShark as a floating advertising column for your branding , while cleaning the water in the meantime. For large brands that want to make a sustainable contribution, it becomes so attractive to really do something and at the same time bring their brand to the attention in a positive way. Or, for example, in combination with a water festival such as Amsterdam Pride, where the water is unintentionally polluted.”


When asked about the dream scenario for the future, Hardiman is clear: “My dream is that we can deploy zero-emission, battery-powered robots all over the world to contribute to clean water. In addition to fishing for waste, we can also take measurements and thus monitor the quality of the water. I dream that we will soon have thousands of them sailing around the world, collecting data. I hope the WasteSharks become as normal as the robot vacuum cleaners or robot lawnmowers. So that we are constantly working on improving water quality all over the world. At the same time, I am aware that this is only part of the solution. Fortunately, a lot is already being done to reduce the use of plastic and prevent pollution.

Kwakernaak adds: “We are currently working on a larger robot, the MegaShark. It is intended to be used in somewhat rougher water, possibly also at sea. We think that they can be put to good use there, for example for cleaning and taking measurements around wind farms. If you were to send a boat there now, the windmills would have to be stopped. With our unmanned  sharks that’s not necessary. In addition, we are now working on the ‘OilShark’, the concept of which has now been devised. This would allow us to clean up oil and other nautical fluids if they end up in the water. And what might be a nice dream for the future is that all large ships, for example superyachts and recreational users, have a WasteShark on board to help clean up the mess in the water or in the port where they moor and thus jointly bear the responsibility for clean water .”

Read the article by Waterrecreatie Nederland on link

Tech Solutions for a Responsible Future at CES 2023

The Kingdom of the Netherlands to Showcase 70 Companies with Tech Solutions for a Responsible Future at CES 2023


The Netherlands’ CES 2023 delegation includes 40 startups in Eureka Park and 30 scale-ups in the Venetian Expo, with tech solutions that span sustainability and circularity, energy transition, battery tech, health and wellness, sports, safety, 5G, IoT, communications, space, nanotech, sensors, drones and robots, AI, big data, security, blockchain, AR/VR, edtech, quantum computing, integrated photonics, enterprise solutions and the future of work.

Returning for the seventh consecutive year, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, today announced the 70 Dutch startup and scale-up tech companies who will take part in the Netherlands (NL Tech) Pavilions, January 5 – 8 in Las Vegas at CES 2023, the global stage for innovation.

Dutch ingenuity and innovation has played a significant role in the world’s evolution over the past centuries. The 40 startup and 30 scale-up companies participating in the NL Pavilions at CES 2023 focus heavily on “Tech for a Responsible Future” and span a wide berth of tech categories that will define future economies, including: sustainability, electric and solar powered vehicles, battery tech, smart cities and smart homes, energy storage, health and wellness, AI and quantum computing, AR/VR, robotics, sensors and more. The Netherlands Startup Pavilion will be located in Eureka Park (Hall G, Booth 62100) in the Venetian Expo, and the Netherlands Next Level Pavilion will be located upstairs in the Venetian Expo(Hall A-C, Booth 55332). Preview the CES 2023 NL Tech Pavilion companies here.

The Netherlands is one of Europe’s largest technology hubs, with 2.6 times as many startups per-one-million residents as the European average — and is ranked among the top five globally in terms of public technology companies in total market capitalization. “The Netherlands sees entrepreneurship and innovation as essential to address the world’s most urgent challenges,” said HRH Prince Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy to Techleap.nl. “The presentation of 70 impact ventures at the NL Pavilions at CES 2023 demonstrates the Netherlands’ ambition to lead positive societal change. Over the years we have experienced that CES offers an outstanding opportunity for our Dutch startups and scale-ups to engage with an international audience of like-minded tech entrepreneurs, investors, potential partners and the media.”

The 70 Dutch technology companies and their solutions featured at CES 2023 include:

  • AgXeed: Designs, builds and delivers autonomous units for agriculture. (Startup)
  • CarbonX: New carbon material that helps tire makers meet the increasing demand for sustainability, safety and performance. (Startup)
  • Dayrize: The global leader for rapid climate impact assessment of consumer products.(Startup)
  • GSES: One-stop sustainability platform, translating over 550 existing international sustainability standards into a universal score and explanation. (Scale-up)
  • iTapToo: A zero-waste solution to refill bottles with a healthy & delicious alternative to traditional sodas. (Startup)
  • Leadax: Manufacturers of highly circular and sustainable flat roofing made from unusable plastic waste. (Scale-up)
  • OneThird: Predicts shelf-life of fresh produce, enabling real-time decisions in the food supply chain and prevents food waste. (Startup and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • Orbisk: Monitors and reduces food waste in professional kitchens by employing progressive AI technology that improves sustainability and profitability. (Startup)
  • RanMarine: Developer of the patented WasteShark, the world’s first autonomous aquadrone that cleans pollution from waterways and collects data about water quality. (Scale-up)
  • Steambox Self-heating, rechargeable lunch box that allows you to enjoy a hot meal anywhere, anytime. (Startup)
  • Wastewatchers: AI-driven forecasting and food waste monitoring for food service companies. (Startup)


  • Advanced Climate Systems: Next-gen building intelligence for installation and property management. (Scale-up and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • eLstar Dynamics: Patented technology for manufacturing the world’s most effective, versatile, attainable dynamic glass. (Startup)
  • Greener Power Solutions: Reduces the CO2 footprint of temporary power markets by using its own fleet of large batteries and in-house energy management software. (Scale-up)
  • Ixora: Manufacturer of future generation electronic and immersion cooling technologies that contribute to the energy transition. (Scale-up)
  • LeydenJar: Creator of a sustainable super battery that uses ultra-thin pure silicon battery anodes to produce Li-Ion batteries that possess 70% more energy density than current battery designs, and produce a lower CO2 footprint with significant cost savings. (Scale-up and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • Nowi: A semiconductor company that specializes in the development of energy-harvesting power management technology for consumer electronics and IoT devices. (Scale-up)
  • Supersola: Plug-and-play solar panels. Works on wall sockets worldwide. (Scale-up and CES Innovation Award Honoree).


  • Alphabeats: EEG-based mental training that uses music and neurofeedback to improve performance in elite athletes. (Startup and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • Absolute Audio Labs (AAL): Audio software for the hearing impaired. (Scale-up)
  • AYAVAYA: A “magic cabin” that uses patented, scientifically-tested technology to reduce stress and recharge the user’s energy, focus and mental balance within 20 minutes. (Startup)
  • ChatLicense: AI-powered gamified platform to make a diploma part of owning a smartphone. (Startup)
  • Crdl: Human-centered interaction design to create meaningful connections between people with physical or cognitive impairment and their caregivers. (Startup and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • Kepler Vision: AI-powered sensor technology that recognizes falls in elderly care within less than one minute; the most reliable fall detection technology in healthcare. (Scale-up)
  • Moovd: Bridges the gap between the growing (digital) healthcare needs of patients who don’t have therapists and the lack of psychologists. (Startup)
  • Neurocast: True, passive patient monitoring that provides doctors and researchers with 24/7 digital biomarkers for measuring patient performance based on real-world evidence. GDPR and HIPAA compliant and ISO 27001 certified. (Startup)
  • Nostics: Instant, accessible, reliable testing for viruses and bacteria, including the world’s smallest portable bacteria identification lab that uses cloud-based, machine learning algorithms to identify bacterial species in five minutes, without the need for expert users or expensive lab infrastructure. (Startup)
  • ​​NOWATCH: The world’s first ‘Awareable’ – a wrist-worn health device and app that combines bio-tracking with mindfulness and real-time feedback about movement, sleep, stress and recovery tools to restore balance faster and help you live in the NOW. (Startup)
  • SmartQare: Medical 24/7 monitoring solution for data-driven clinical decision support in remote patient care. (Startup)
  • SOVN: In-ear wearable that detects and reduces excessive teeth grinding and clenching. (Startup and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • TrueKinetix: Invented and launched the world’s first robotic smart bike. (Scale-up and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • VRelax: Scientifically-validated virtual reality app to relieve stress and improve mental health. (Startup)


  • Dimenco: Simulated Reality (SR) display technology that allows you to experience virtual 3D objects in your own environment — without the use of glasses or other wearables. (Scale-up)
  • Xinaps: Deliver cloud-based solutions for the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry to improve the quality of building data and contribute to a more efficient and simpler building process. (Startup)


  • Hydraloop: Integrating clean tech, decentralized water recycling solutions in residential and commercial real estate to solve a growing worldwide scarcity of freshwater supply. (Scale-up and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • Squad Mobility: The world’s first Solar City Car for sharing and private use. The ultimate smart urban mobility solution for emissions, congestion and parking. (Scale-up)
  • Trunkrs: Same and next-day delivery service striving for 100% emission-free delivery. (Scale-up)


  • Capestone: One-stop-shop distributor and service provider of 5G, IoT and AR hardware and connectivity. (Scale-up)
  • Dexper Digital Events: VOD platform that streamlines hosting world-class digital events. (Scale-up)
  • Homey: Unifies all smart home products in a single smart home hub. (Scale-up)
  • InPhocal: A unique, concentric laser beam that reduces the need for ink and is 2.5 times faster than printing. (Startup)
  • Livery Video: an irresistibly fun, shoppable and engaging video platform for businesses, media and influencers. (Startup)
  • Nuwa: A magical new way to write digitally. Groundbreaking camera system for stunning details. Powered by the world’s most efficient 5 mm chip. (Startup)
  • Occam Dx: A disruptive, real-time, accurate diagnostic platform using simple nanoelectronics that can detect a single virus particle. (Startup)
  • SODAQ: Durable tracking and sensing solutions, producing solar-powered IoT hardware for enterprise-sized deployments. (Scale-up)
  • Tradecast: The Tradecast Video Management System brings industry-leading tools to every content owner looking to become an independent broadcaster. (Scale-up)
  • Whispp: AI-powered speech technology that converts whispered speech into the person’s natural voice, wíth the intonation and emotion you intended, in real time. (Startup)


  • Addoptics: Scale prototyping and production with affordable, industrial-quality optics. (Scale-up)
  • MantiSpectra: NIR (Near Infrared) spectroscopy on a miniaturized spectral chip that can accurately measure material properties in real-time using just light. Enables portable NIR spectroscopy. (Startup)
  • Morphotonics: Nanotechnology for micro and nano-scale surfaces for nextgen mobile device screens, immersive AR glasses, higher efficiency solar panels and high-accuracy sensors. (Scale-up)
  • Sorama: Ground-breaking acoustic cameras used globally within OEM and R&D acoustic, design departments, noise reduction, smart cities, smart stadiums and industrial inspection. (Scale-up)
  • Starnus Technology: Developers of a highly flexible autonomous mobile robot (AMR) solution, which allows third-party logistics (3PL) companies to deal with their rapidly changing operations. (Startup)


  • BrainCreators: AI-powered digital inspector. (Scale-up)
  • Bubl Cloud: Restarting privacy safe innovation on personal data, by enabling innovators to create privacy-safe services in the cloud. (Startup)
  • IntrinsicID: Provider of security IP for embedded systems based on Physical Unclonable Functions (PUF) technology. (Scale-up)
  • Naya: Develops an ecosystem that empowers digital creators. Naya Create is a modular keyboard that increases efficiency, flexibility and health. (Startup)
  • TokenMe: Breakthrough construction-monitoring solution, improving productivity, safety and security using mobile sensors, AI and real-time dashboard. (Startup and CES Innovation Award Honoree)


  • Quix Quantum: The world’s most powerful Quantum Photonic Processor for photonic quantum computing and information processing. (Scale-up)
  • Sencure: Medical device company that develops high-end chips and medical wearables to accelerate and improve remote-patient monitoring. (Startup)


  • RobotWise: Interactive, gamified programs for talent development with social robots as a tool, for schools and organizations. (Startup)


  • Budget2Pay: A B2B digital platform that connects supply and demand together in a paperless world. (Startup)
  • UpMarqt: Accurately matches businesses with freelance talent within minutes. (Startup)


  • BUBTY: Flexible workforce management in a single system. (Startup)
  • DialogueTrainer: Nexten simulation platform for conversation training. (Scale-up and CES Innovation Award Honoree)
  • EZ Factory: SaaS-based platform for optimizing operational effectiveness and efficiency of factory floor operations. (Scale-up)
  • WorkBoost: WorkBoost app and dashboard are a micro-activation and feedback software system designed to provide managers, consultants and coaches the necessary insights to maximize engagement. (Startup and CES Innovation Award Honoree)

Interested media and analysts who want to schedule an interview before or during CES 2023, please contact NLatCES2023@wearemgp.com.

About The Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Netherlands strives to solve societal and economic challenges with local and international partners. The country ranks sixth on the Global Innovation Index, and Amsterdam is one of the fastest growing ecosystems in Europe. As a trading nation, the Netherlands has continuously ranked as one of the top five foreign investors in the U.S. for multiple years, making the Netherlands the number one country with which the U.S. maintains a trade surplus. More than 955K jobs in the United States are the result of the strong economic relations with the Netherlands.

The Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, in partnership with Holland in the Valley and the Dutch ecosystem in the San Francisco Bay Area, empowers Dutch entrepreneurs and talent to innovate and scale in the U.S. by offering a network, content and programs. Learn more at United States | Netherlandsandyou.nl.

See the article on Cision PRWeb

Drone WasteShark removes plastic waste and biomass

Autonomous surface vessel (ASV) WasteShark by company RanMarine Technology vacuums and cleans plastic waste and biomass from water bodies using drone technology. Modeled after a shark, the water vehicle-looking vacuum is designed to be deployed with preset mission routes on the user’s chosen waterbody. By selecting WasteShark’s operating route and predetermining its path, its user covers the region they require waste or data collection. The routes can be saved and re-run as often as needed, depending on the user. The ASV drone also uses GPS routes to navigate to the desired areas and to return home. Light detection and ranging system can be added to the device to avoid collision and enhanced data gathering from the environment. The company – which specializes in the design and development of industrial ASVs for ports, harbors, and other marine and water environments – says that the design of WasteShark allows it to be efficient, long-lived, non-threatening, and unobtrusive, with zero greenhouse and carbon emissions that alter climate change and in-house clean technology tools used for cleaning water. Because of these, the all-purpose waste and data collection ASV can be used in urban, rural, industrial, and leisure environments.
WasteShark has a 10-hour swim time, 5km range of run, and waypoint planning, and it can clear up to 500 kilos of debris per day, run for 3km/h and for six hours in autonomous mode. The company installed 4G technology into its ASV with a 3km radio-controlled guidance and two electric thrusters which it guarantees are mounted with RanMarine proprietary thruster guard technology. RanMarine Technology’s WasteShark is one of the many ASVs the company desires to create in the future to clear plastics, bio-waste, and other debris from waterways. It says that the data enablement of its products allows customers to closely monitor, in real-time, the environment and makeup of their water, producing an accurate picture of the water’s DNA to pinpoint any unquantified concerns. RanMarine Technology products are also designed to be used manually via an onshore operator or autonomously with online control and access such as WasteShark.
Read the full article by Design Boom on this link.



By RanMarine Technology BV


Drones & Unmanned Systems

To contribute to the huge challenge of cleaning and monitoring our world’s waters, RanMarine Technology developed the patented WasteShark. It is the world’s first autonomous aquadrone designed for clearing marine plastic waste. At a running cost of 20% of other marine waste removal solutions and with zero emission operation, the intelligent WasteShark is easy to operate and maintain. The WasteShark is our first model and our roadmap includes products based on the WasteShark such as the OilShark and MegaShark. It is accessible to public and private entities that aim to contribute to restoring the marine environment to its natural state.

The WasteShark is an aqua-drone designed to be efficient and unobtrusive, it is an intelligent CleanTech tool used for removal of all-purpose waste and collecting data from waters.

RanMarine Technology’s ambition is to contribute to the challenge of cleaning and monitoring our world’s waters, RanMarine Technology developed the WasteShark. At a running cost of 20% of other marine waste removal solutions and with a zero emission operation, the intelligent WasteShark is easy to operate and maintain.

RanMarine Technology, selected as one of the CES® 2022 Innovation Awards Honoree, is the manufacturer of the WasteShark. The autonomous aquadrone is designed for clearing marine waste and monitoring water health near coastal waters, lakes and urban waterways. It is accessible to public and private entities such as government entities, ports, marinas as well as corporates looking to support the restoration of the marine environment.



A clean environment, including fresh air, land and waterways is necessary for all the living things on this planet.


sea, ocean, twilight


Industrialization is vital for all the countries, as it not only boosts the economy and development, but also generates employment opportunities. At the same time, sustainable living is equally important. A clean environment, including fresh air, land and waterways is necessary for all the living things on this planet.

However, in spite of all the factual data readily available to study the devastating impact of pollution and environmental degradation, our effort to mitigate the impact remains questionable.

Especially, when it comes to the oceans and other water bodies, the recent developments have been worrying to say the least. A number of plastic patches are floating on the surface of oceans, with some of them easily visible through satellite imagery.

The chemical waste released by several industries is only making the things complex. With increasing pollution levels, the marine life is threatened, while the humans are also being affected both directly and indirectly.

Although a number of innovative solutions have been tried and tested by the concerned authorities across the world so far, the success rate has not exuberated confidence. However, in the last few years, a unique product called WasteShark has turned heads with its efficiency and success rate.

Developed by Netherland-based RanMarine Technology, this water-robot is world’s first data harvesting autonomous surface vessel. It is designed to remove the unwanted material from the water bodies, while being operated autonomously or remotely.

WasteShark is capable of cleaning up 500 kg of debris per day, other than being a solution to monitor the pollution levels. The cost of fueling this water-robot for a year is equal to the cost of watching TV for 5 hours in a day for 12 months.

It comes with a battery capacity of 8 hours that is enough to accomplish the task for the day. WasteShark goes about its business without harming the marine life.

Having already been deployed in several water bodies across various countries, WasteShark has succeeded in withstanding the test of cleaning up lakes, ponds and oceans without any disruption. On the back of such innovative solutions, RanMarine Technology has come a long way.

The company was even able to attract global investment firm Boundary Holding, led by Rajat Khare. It also received funding from European Union (EU) to scale up operations and reduce the pollution considerably with its effective product list.

Reversing technological advancements or industrialization is not an option anymore. Having come this far, it would be stupid to believe that the plastic and chemical waste generation can be completely stopped anytime soon.

At this juncture, the better option is to control the damage by constantly cleaning up water bodies with innovative solutions like WasteShark and being more responsible towards the handling of environment in the larger picture.

Read full article by Influencive

New floating drones could help fight plastic pollution

Floating drones inspired by whale sharks and four-wheeled robots are the latest inventions in an attempt to address plastic pollution, Bloomberg reports.

RanMarine Technology, an organization based in Rotterdam, has developed what they call a ‘WasteShark’ that collects waste through a wide opening that mimics a whale shark. The WasteShark is an autonomous surface vessel, this means that it requires no supervision as it can be left in the chosen water body, with a preset route, using GPS to navigate and then return home.

The organisation claims that the WasteShark can collect up to 500kg of waste per day. There is also a four-wheeled version, a beachbot, that collects small litter like cigarette butts and bottle caps. You can view the WasteShark in action on the canals of Holland below.


A recent publication in Nature Sustainability provided a comprehensive analysis of the solutions to tackle marine litter. Even though policies are being created to address plastic pollution, such as the decision taken by Tanzania in 2019 to ban all plastic bags in the country, the publication brings up the issue of the existing plastic in our oceans.

The research was led by biologist Nikoleta Bellou who commented that “the oceans have already been polluted to such an extent, simultaneous to all the actions needed to reduce pollution at the source”.

Plastics pollution is piling up faster than initiatives to correct it, with calculations indicating that it will take about 100 years to retrieve 5% of plastic in the oceans

As much as 91 million tons have entered the world’s oceans between 1980 and 2015, with more than 8 million tons entering the oceans every year. What we see on the surface is only 5% of the plastic in the oceans. plastic has contaminated the darkest parts of the Mariana trench and is so widespread that it is estimated that by 2050, 99% of seabirds would have ingested plastic.

The worsening plastic pollution on the planet seems as if our reality is coming to represent Pixar’s 2008  film, Wall-E, where the earth so despoiled that it is no longer inhabitable that humans are living in some kind of space-ark while a robot is left to clean up the waste. But this is just a movie…

To prevent this dystopia,  policies to avoid disincentive plastic production and encourage a circular economy as well as public education on the harms of plastic are needed in collaboration with technofixes such as the WasteShark. In 2010, South Africa ranked 11th on the list of the worst offenders regarding plastic pollution in the ocean. South Africa only recycles 16% of its plastic, where the rest end up in landfills where they can easily blow into rivers and eventually, the ocean.

Article by Getaway