Words by Smiley Team
We’re well aware of the amount of rubbish that is collected and ends up in the ocean every year, wreaking havoc on wildlife.
And that’s why Dutch invention – RanMarine’s WasteSharks – is such an innovative idea. The company has 157cm wide aquatic robots that capture rubbish in the sea and bring it back to land. They’re pretty big, too. They can hold 160 litres of rubbish, plants, and other debris from the water.
The original idea for the robots came about when founder Richard Hardiman saw how marine litter was being cleaned by water authorities, using small boats and pool nets to remove the litter.
Richard thought he could design and come up with a more effective way to remove waste from water using drones. The original motivation was a desire for greater efficiency – but also to lead him into the environmental space, where he saw how effective new technology could be in helping our planet.
The WasteShark was originally invented as a concept in 2013, but wasn't developed into a first prototype until 2015. In 2016, Richard was invited to enter a maritime accelerator in Rotterdam, the Netherlands where he received funding to develop the first version of the WasteShark we know today.
“The purpose of the WasteShark is to remove waste, litter (plastics) and harmful algae from the surface of the water,” he tells Smiley News. “The idea is that, very much like a small autonomous vacuum cleaner… this machine can operate in a similar fashion, cleaning the water constantly.
“Our purpose is to develop technology to make our world a more livable place and ease the pressure humans are adding to our fragile water resources and ecosystems”
“The WasteShark and our developing platforms are part of the greater vision of making collection of waste and pollution in water more efficient, less costly and ultimately less harmful than current methods used."
Here are three UK-based organisations working to remove plastic from our oceans. Support their work to help protect wildlife and nature yourself by following the links below.
City to Sea is an environmental organisation working to end plastic pollution at its roots. They collaborate with communities and businesses to challenge the problem with the support of individual activists from around the world.
This organisation is made up of a passionate community of volunteers who campaign and work towards cleaner oceans.
Surfers Against Sewage is a campaign group aimed at tackling ocean pollution of various kinds through lobbying authorities and companies.