Initiator Marcella Hansch in an interview with boot.de
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, a revolutionary idea that wants to fight plastic waste in the oceans is about to be launched. boot.de talked to the young architect and project initiator Marcella Hansch about plastics, her idea and her next goals.
As part of her master thesis in architecture in 2013, Marcella Hansch developed an idea on how to filter plastic waste and plastic particles out of seawater. The special feature of this idea is that it does not require nets and poses no danger to marine life. In addition, the plastic waste is not only collected but also used as a resource for clean energy production and biodegradable plastic.
Pacific Garbage Screening aims to provide a solution for clean oceans: a floating platform in the sea that filters plastic out of seawater in a passive sedimentation process. Due to its bulbous shape and separated channels underwater, the platform calms currents and turbulence in the ocean, facilitating plastic to accumulate on the surface inside the platform. From there it can be easily removed.
An important aspect of the concept is that the design and passive operation of the platform takes into account the protection of marine life. No nets or similar things, in which fish and other marine animals could get caught, are used to collect the waste. Fish can simply swim through the structure of the platform at any point.
Recycling Plastic Waste
The collected plastic waste is broken down into hydrogen and carbon dioxide by an innovative process of gasification. A fuel cell converts the hydrogen into energy, making the platform self-sufficient. To prevent carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere, it is supplied to special algae cultures as a basic nutrition. The resulting biomass is used as a raw material for a biodegradable plastic.
An Interview with Founder Marcella Hansch
"The most important thing is simply to avoid plastic."
"We spent every summer at the sea in Holland every summer when we were kids. And for me, the sea has always been the only place where I could really relax and unwind. The older I got, the more watersports came into it, diving and stuff like that. Once I'm at sea, I'm always kind of fine. If you then see that this place is no longer doing well, it just hurts."