A yacht company has designed a gigantic boat that could suck up 1,825 tonnes of plastic waste from the ocean every year and turn it into fuel onboard.
A prototype of the 70 metre ship, called ‘The Ocean Saviour’ has been designed by a team of experts – including naval architects and not for profit organisations such as Just One Ocean and Big Blue Ocean Cleanup – led by Richard Roberts, co-founder of company The Yacht Market.
Roberts told HuffPost UK he came up with the idea for an “eco vessel” after watching the BBC’s Blue Planet and was struck by the fact the planet was now “choking” on its own waste.
He said the ship, shaped like a catamaran, would be designed with two 40 metre “catchment zones” each side, which would scrape up plastic waste and funnel it onto the ship via a conveyor belt to then be ground up, milled and treated to be converted into a gas to fuel the vessel.
The ship would be a bit like “the combine harvester of the sea”, he said, dealing with the waste at sea rather than dragging it to shore therefore “taking out another element and cost”.
There’s a slight catch, however, the concept would cost £40 million pounds to make, so the group are seeking funding and hope to be able one day to create a whole fleet of them if they can get investment. Roberts said it had already been in discussions with potential investors in New York, Chicago and in Egypt.
Roberts said he hoped to put it out to tender next year, and anticipated it would take a further 18 months to build.
“If I could get these ships down to £20 million a pop, that’d be my dream,” he said.