Waste Free Oceans has been very active in the past months. The organisation started a three-year repetitive programme of identified hotspot clean-ups and remediation projects in the Danube river basin, starting from Bulgaria and working towards the Black Sea in Romania, and in the Mediterranean. While engaging with local authorities, companies, NGOs and other stakeholders, WFO started a first set of riverside clean-ups in June, around the city of Vidin, in Bulgaria, aiming to gradually cover the entire Danube River. WFO also plans to engage in a regular clean-up in the Danube river, using the specially designed trawls, which can be used either behind fishing boats or can be placed stationary in the rivers. The goal is to use as much as possible of the collected plastic debris turning it back into new products.
Another operation which is in plan this year targets the prevention and the clean-up of the plastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean and, more specifically, aims to remove the waste in the waters off the coast of the Azores, focusing on three islands: São Miguel, Faial and Flores. The pilot project is planned from September until November, and after evaluation decisions will be made for the 2019 period and beyond.
WFO is currently also expanding to a new area. The organisation wants to build a recycling plant in the EU, one in the Dominican Republic and one in Jordan, where plastic collected from ocean and rivers, mixed with plastic collected from land through waste pickers, will be processed in a local plant, then converted into panels. The panels will be used to build affordable houses for the local communities who have lost their homes in natural disasters, as well as in the furniture business.
Overall, WFO hopes to not only contribute to being part of an end of pipe clean-up, but to be actively involved in prevention, while inspiring local and regional entrepreneurs to engage and further invest in recycling technologies, in line with the EU Circular Economy considerations.
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