Did you know that WWF and Sky Ocean Rescue have launched an autonomous marine robot in north Devon called the WasteShark®? With the ability to ‘swallow’ up to 60kg of debris in one trip, including plastics, microplastics, oils and other pollutants, the WasteShark® has been proposed as a way to help clean up coastal waters in the UK’s most vital marine zones. If used five days a week, it is estimated that it can collect in excess of 15 tonnes of waste a year, with the plastic then being recycled to make products. It can roam for up to eight hours on one charge and is programmed with GPS points to make sure it covers the areas where the waste gathers.
This is the first time that the WasteShark® has been tested in the UK, following successful launches in five other countries. Created by RanMarine Technology, it is the world’s first marine robot designed specifically to eat waste and collect data. Even better, it also claims to not emit any carbon, produces no noise or light pollution and poses no threat to wildlife.
Why do we need the WasteShark®? It is estimated eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the oceans each year, with catastrophic consequences for wildlife. 90% of the world’s sea bird have fragments of plastic in their stomachs, while 80% of mussels taken from a number of British beaches were found to contain microplastics. It is innovations like this, that continue to move us positively forward in the fight against plastic pollution.
Find out more here.