The Ocean Cleanup has developed the first scalable solution to efficiently intercept plastic in rivers, before the plastic reaches the oceans. Their solution utilises corrosion-resistant aluminium.

“Providing aluminium for such a unique project is truly inspiring. It highlights the opportunities this represents in term of dealing with one the biggest environmental issues we are facing, in addition to the vast prospects of aluminium solutions,” says John Delamboy, commercial director for Hydro Extruded Solutions in the Benelux region.

The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands. Their statistics show that about 1% of our 100,000 rivers are responsible for 80% of the plastic which flows into our oceans via rivers.

The organisation has developed the Interceptor, an autonomous system for collecting plastic pollution from rivers before it reaches the sea. Over the span of five years, they aim to halt the 80% of plastic coming from rivers into our oceans by focusing on the most-polluting 1,000 rivers around the world.

Light and affordable structural element
The Ocean Cleanup was looking for a light and affordable structural element that offered possibilities for scalability and part integration. Aluminium turned out to be a viable alternative, and Hydro is involved as one of the aluminium material suppliers for the second-generation Interceptor.

Aluminium was also a logical choice because of its corrosion resistance in open waters.

Design collaboration
The companies working with The Ocean Cleanup are collaborating to optimise the design of the Interceptor to make the system even better.

Today, one Interceptor can extract 50,000 kilograms of trash from a river each day, going up to 100,000 kilograms under “optimised conditions.”

Hydro has supplied aluminium profiles in four different shapes from its Dutch plant in Hoogezand. The profiles are used as construction parts for the body and roofing.

Explaining the Interceptor