French vessel embarks on odyssey against plastic pollution of the oceans

French vessel embarks on odyssey against plastic pollution of the oceans
Credit: Plastic Odyssey

The Plastic Odyssey ship is ready to launch a three-year expedition starting in Marseille in the global fight against plastic pollution.

The announcement of the expedition was made on World Ocean Day (8 June). The Day aims at raising awareness of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of the planet, a major source of food and medicine, and a critical part of the biosphere. The oceans cover over 70% of the planet. The theme this year was ‘Revitalization: collective action for the ocean’.

The project started three years ago on the initiative of a team of engineers and merchant navy officers with the ambition of finding solutions to stop the dumping of plastic waste into the ocean.

The ship which was acquired in October 2019 has been fully renovated. Onboard, it has a workshop with recycling machines capable of recycling plastic waste into new objects or fuel, which will serve as a test bench for training and prototyping of recycled products.

"After nearly three years of hard work and multiple twists, seeing departure confirmed today is for us the culmination of a piece of adventure among the greater one,” said Simon Bernard, CEO and one of the co-founders of Plastic Odyssey.

Plastic Odyssey fights against plastic pollution by taking advantage of the plastic waste in low- and middle-income countries’ coastal cities and turn it into raw material in local micro-factories for the transformation of the waste into building materials and fuel, thanks to low-tech and easily transferable technologies.

Plastic Odyssey also works towards a plastic-free future through the development of various awareness-raising, educational and social sciences research programs.

The ship will leave Saint-Nazaire's shipyard at the end of June to reach its home port, Marseille, in July. Starting in September 2022, ship visits will be organized and several events will take place.

On 1 October, Plastic Odyssey's ship will set sail from Marseille’s ‘Vieux-Port”, heading to Beirut, Lebanon, in mid-October, and Alexandria, Egypt, in the beginning of November, the first stopovers of the expedition. The vessel will then head to Africa. During each 3-week stopover, a dozen entrepreneurs will be selected and trained to launch a plastic recycling centre.

The Brussels Times

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