IEEP partner in major new CLAIM project on marine litter

Author: Emma Watkins

IEEP is a partner in the newly-funded Horizon 2020 project CLAIM (Cleaning marine Litter by developing and Applying Innovative Methods). The project is led by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece, and seeks to develop and apply innovative marine cleaning technologies and approaches.

The presence and accumulation of plastic debris in the marine environment is now recognised as a major global environmental problem, growing substantially with the twenty-fold increase in global plastics production over the last fifty years. For 2010 alone, estimates suggest that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic litter entered the marine environment.

The project will develop five key technological innovations to prevent litter from entering the sea.

For wastewater treatment plants, the project will develop an automated cleaning device to filter out micro- and macro-plastic, and a photocatalytic device to degrade common invisible nano-plastics using sunlight.

Floating booms equipped with cameras will be developed to monitor the collection of litter at river mouths. A thermal treatment device (pyrolizer) will be optimised to produce and use syngas (a fuel gas mixture produced from the breakdown of macroplastics), to be used as an energy source for ships and heating in ports. The project will also develop FerryBoxes, a new filtering system to detect micro-plastic in the open seas.

These innovations will be tested in the Mediterranean (Lyon Gulf, Ligurian Sea, Saronikos Gulf) and the Baltic Sea (near Denmark). Alongside these tests, the Europe-wide consortium will seek out new business models to enhance the economic feasibility for upscaling CLAIM’s innovations.

IEEP will develop a report on the legal and policy frameworks around marine litter and their potential to support or hinder the new innovations being developed by CLAIM. We will also contribute to tasks looking at the assessment of ecosystem services and links to human well-being, stakeholder surveys to assess the acceptance of the new technologies, and informing future policy.

CLAIM is funded under Horizon 2020 Call BG-07-2017: Blue green innovation for clean coasts and seas. The project will run for four years and brings together nineteen partners from across Europe. The official project kick-off will take place in November 2017.

For further information, please contact Emma Watkins.

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