On our recent trip to Kuala Lumpur early this year, PGCians went on an eye-opening visit to the Interceptor, a ‘giant plastic vacuum’ under the Klang River Rehabilitation, Cleaning and Development project.
This advance technology is created by The Ocean Cleanup which aims to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic that requires global initiative. They are working closely with the governments from all over the world and as for our country; this project is monitored by Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd under the Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG) initiative.
"The Ocean Cleanup is a bold idea to confront the significant challenge of restoring our ocean ecosystem. This is a unique opportunity to profoundly impact our environment, pursuing an ambitious solution to remove plastic waste from our oceans with significant benefits for wildlife, the food chain and community health"
Mary Reemst, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation
Some of you may have heard about The Interceptor as it went viral in social media before this. The Interceptor has a large capacity to collect at least 100,000 kg of garbage per day. At the beginning of its introduction to the Klang river, this ‘giant plastic vacuum’ collected 1,200 to 1,500 kg of floating plastics per day. However, the management slowly saw a decreasing amount of garbage collected daily to 800 to 900 kg per day. They credited to river education that the State has been doing and also the increasing of a clean awareness amongst the people leaving along with it. “It is the first full-fledged Interceptor” according to Boyan Slat, inventor of Interceptor and CEO of Ocean Cleanup.
This machine can be operated remotely as it is internet-connected. This means there is no need to station anyone by the Klang River. Notifications are automatically sent when the dumpsters are full which then also gives access to the total amount of garbage collected.
How does it work?
By using the natural current of the river, all debris will enter the Interceptor guided by the barriers towards the opening of the machine. All electronics in the Interceptor, including the conveyer belt, shuttle, lights, sensors, and data transmission are solar-powered. If you guys would like to read in more detail on this, you can easily go to this site.
Solving plastic pollution in the oceans can be a bit tricky as it involves a lot of parties, but we should not be taking this matter lightly. Solving it will require a combination of closing the source and cleaning up what has already been accumulating in the ocean that doesn’t go away by itself.