SO WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT?
We are a small team based in Hampshire, UK with the aim of going into the North Atlantic Garbage Patch and making a start physically removing the larger pieces of plastic pollution that has gathered there.
Our founder Peter has this to say:
"I want to do something practical about gathering plastic up out of our oceans. There has been a great deal of academic research on this problem over the years but very little has been done out to sea and I want to try and change that. There is no time to lose because the longer the plastic remains in the sea, the more it degrades into smaller pieces becoming a greater risk to wildlife and is more difficult to remove.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO IT?
Well the concept sounds simple; we want to try and raise enough funds to purchase a second hand ship that we can then modify to pick up plastic debris. After extensive research we have decided to use a well proven fishing technique called purse seine. This is when a suspended net is taken out from the large ship by a smaller work boat or skiff. After several hours it is brought back to the ship where any plastic debris will be sucked into the ship and then passed through screens to ensure any marine life is returned to the sea. Unfortunately it will be impossible to collect micro plastics so we will be focusing on the larger debris that concentrates and floats in the first 5m from the surface.
Once the plastic debris is onboard the ship, any PET plastics (found mainly in bottles) would be separated as these can be compacted and returned to shore for sale. All other plastics would be put into a pyrolysis machine with a distilling plant attached. This heats the plastic up and turns the plastic back into it's original forms of hydrocarbons. Methane gas would be used to heat the pyrolysis machine itself, diesel will be used to fuel the ship and carbon char can be used during road making and for enhancing the soil. Our ship will also be able to collect floating plastic waste from river mouths - moving to locations where it is most needed. Also when it is not possible to go to sea, the ship can process plastic whilst it is docked.
We know this is not a small task - this is a massive challenge and will take a huge amount of money but we want to at least try. There will be many key milestones along our journey and we'd love you to join us - you can subscribe to our emails below for news and updates. As we embark on this mission, here are a few of the things we will be doing in our timeline;
Working with researchers especially in the use of drifters (GPS floating devices), and with other people on sailing passages to determine where the highest concentrations of plastic are to be found
Raising enough money to conduct testing in the English Channel for the optimum size of netting
Having enough funds to start looking into buying a second hand ship which we will ask you to name (unfortunately Boaty McBoatface is already taken..)
Modifying a ship so we can collect the pollution in the most efficient way
Commissioning the building of a pyrolysis machine for use on board the ship
Finding a recycling partner who will work with us to manage the pollution we bring back
Finding a crew including a Captain, Chief Engineer and assisting crew who is able to support the main collection mission
WHY SHOULD I DONATE TO PLASTICSEIZE?
It's a good question.
Well if like us you are trying to do your own bit on the war against plastic pollution at home, and perhaps even helping with a beach clean or other activities but still feel you want to do more - then this is your chance. Every donation no matter how small is gratefully received and will help us towards our journey.
Your donations really can make a difference. We are a registered charity so none of the trustees are allowed to draw a salary. We are not a commercial venture so we are not for profit and there are no investors to pay back.
Our scheme is very ambitious and the funds we will need to make it work are significant. We want to reassure you all that if after a considerable time it appears that we will not reach our overall funding target, then the trustees will distribute any funds raised to like-minded charities, so anyone donating can be satisfied in the knowledge that all donations will be going to charitable causes whatever happens. Of course we hope that this will not be the case so please donate what you can so we can get our plan afloat.
AREN'T THERE OTHER PROJECTS ALREADY RUNNING TO TACKLE THIS PROBLEM?
Yes there are - there are many other charities and organisations all looking to try and tackle this issue and their focus is all slightly different. Some are organising beach clean-ups, some focus on education and awareness, and others are doing research. As far as we are aware there is only one other group who are trying to actively collect plastic out to sea. This team have developed a highly engineered boom that is being deployed into the North Pacific garbage patch.
We would like to go into the North Atlantic patch to make a start there using a simple method that follows the principles of purse seine fishing that is very adaptable and manoeuvrable.
We hope that through all of us working towards the same goals, we will start to win this war on plastic pollution.
So - please donate whatever you can.