Tyres and Teddies
Ocean Cleanup hopes their project will have a major impact in fighting the waste crisis globally, as rivers are one of the greatest sources of plastic flowing into the seas.
Some 80 percent of plastic waste that ends up in the sea floats down just 1,000 rivers worldwide, according to the group, which hopes to one day station trash-collecting barges in all these waterways.
The Klang river alone sends more than 15,000 tons annually into the sea, a map on their website shows, making it one of the 50 most-polluting rivers across the globe.
“We know the goal of 1,000 rivers is ambitious, but it is a necessary one,” said group spokesman Joost Dubois, adding they aimed to have dealt with the problem within five years.
But the group has some way to go to turn the tide — they have so far built four Interceptor boats at a cost of 700,000 euros ($775,000) each, although they expect the price will come down as more are produced.
As well as the barge in Malaysia, one has been stationed in Jakarta, the overcrowded capital of neighboring Indonesia, while two others will be sent to Vietnam and the Dominican Republic.