IT’S been nicknamed the combine harvester of the seas – a yacht that will scoop up plastic from the ocean and recycle it as it sails.
The Ocean Saviour, unveiled yesterday, is designed to collect five tonnes of plastic waste a day. It will be the first vessel to power itself by turning the waste into fuel.
The 70metre vessel has booms on either side which will funnel floating pollution into it.
The plastic will be chopped finely, milled and heated to super-high temperatures to produce gas that can be burned for energy with minimal pollution, making the £40million catamaran self-powering. The Ocean Saviour design was revealed by yacht brokers TheYachtMarket at the Southampton Boat Show.
Richard Roberts, of Southampton, the project’s co-founder, said: ‘It’s staggering to think there is currently more than five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean which is having a hugely detrimental impact on our ecosystem.’
He said the yachts like the Ocean Saviour ‘should be going up and down our coastlines all the time – they could be the combine harvesters of the seas.’ It was not revealed when the boat will be ready to sail.
The environmental devastation caused by plastic in our oceans has been highlighted by the BBC’s Blue Planet documentary, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, and by the Daily Mail’s Turn The Tide On Plastic campaign.
The Ocean Saviour design was unveiled only a few days after efforts began to tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – an area of floating trash that is twice the size of France.
This week the Ocean Cleanup System 001, which consists of a 2,000ft (600 meters) floating barrier, was towed out of San Francisco for trials before it is used to tackle the plastic pollution in the Pacific.