We developed a novel system that collects waste plastic from river courses. As 80% of waste plastic enters the oceans via rivers this amounts to 10 million tonnes per year unrecovered.
The system has been developed prototyped, independently tested and patented and has the following features:
· 100% effective in collecting mixed plastic waste
· Generates new income streams and becomes self-financing
· Requires minimum maintenance
· Enables collection for mechanical, de-polymerisation or pyrolysis.
· Provides local employment
· Zero impact on navigability
We are currently negotiating with several organisations looking to install Blue Barriers.
We are finalizing, in particular, the approval process for the Sarno River, the most polluted river in Europe.
There are about 4000 significantly polluted rivers in the world. Each of them could be a market entry opportunity for Plastic recyclers, equipment manufacturers, material and chemical companies.
The total business potential is about 10B dollars (calculating an average of 2.5M dollars per project)
Problem or Opportunity
80% of waste plastic enters the oceans via rivers, a total amount of 10 million tonnes per year unrecovered. This has a dramatic impact on our global environment and huge costs for the local administrations in reduced revenues (tourism, fisheries etc) and higher costs (beach cleanings).
Moreover, as consumer-facing brands are demanding increased sustainability, advanced recycling will affect material requirements. Government entities are increasingly implementing stricter regulatory frameworks governing plastic use and disposal.
Recyclers, equipment manufacturers, material and chemical companies at the same time are looking for additional revenue streams.
Being able to offer a River Plastic Collection system, integrated with management and recycling, at no cost for the local government (the overall project will have a positive ROI), can offer them access to new markets, new revenue streams and great PR visibility, all at once.
Solution (product or service)
Plastic Recyclers, equipment manufacturers, material and chemical companies can either keep offering the same services or increasing their offer with a free turnkey win-win solution for local administration, increasing access to market and growing their revenues over time.
NETS: depending on the size of the net they can block up to 100% of the plastic but they also have a series of issues: high maintenance (bulky elements get easily stuck in the net and there is the need to physically drag the nets back to shore each time, plus they can clearly affect both navigation and river wildlife). They can also increase the chances of flooding if not correctly maintained.
BUBBLE BARRIERS: this was a technology used in the past for wastewater treatment aeration and for creating shields in water to turbid areas. The downside is the high energy consumption, the limited effectiveness in stopping litter and the constraints of water depth and flow speed. They could work for small rivers with limited currents. In larger rivers, depending on the flow of the river, they are able to stop maximum 80% of plastic. If the river flow is too high or the river is too deep, the pump will not be capable of sufficiently keep up the pressure to stop the plastic. This is particularly true during flooding, which is when most of the plastic waste is transporter. Clearly the higher the air bubble pressure the higher the energy consumption. This could worsen other aspects of overall sustainability cycle. Other relevant problems are the obstruction of the tubes that generate the bubbles by a large amount of silt, soil, gravels and rocks that can be transported by the river during flooding. Moreover, bubble curtains can stop also fishes, possibly creating issues to the river life.
INFLATABLE BARRIERS & GEO-FENCES: Scientific studies prove that a significant percentage of plastics in rivers is under the water surface. Lighter objects, like plastic bags, can easily slip under these barriers, dramatically reducing their effectiveness in stopping plastic. They normally are not structurally capable of meeting extreme river conditions as flooding or even bulky debris.
INTERCEPTOR BY OCEAN CLEAN UP: This technology that put together existing solutions (https://www.mrtrashwheel.com/ and https://www.bolinabooms.com/environment-booms ) in a smart and effective way, is the only with comparable collection effectiveness to our Blue Barriers. However, it is far more expensive, requires high maintenance, and includes a lot of electronic components that can be damaged by being in the middle of the rivers, especially during flooding conditions, when most of the plastic goes through the river, together with heavy objects like large logs and trees.
Advantages or differentiators
BLUE BARRIERS by SEADS: USP: Our BLUE BARRIERS are the most effective and affordable River Plastic Collection tech.
They are designed to optimally address river plastic pollution: they collect up to 100% of plastic in std conditions (92% in flooding conditions), create local employment opportunity, have no impact on river life nor navigability, and require minimum maintenance.
Moreover, we are the only that also provides an integrated system to sort, manage and valorize all the collected materials to not only protect invaluable environmental resources, improve the quality of life of local communities and create local job opportunities, but also to produce a relevant profit.
SEADS will make money from the sales of the Blue Barriers system and from a small fee on the waste recycled by each plant.
Money will be spent on
Sales - Hiring a Sales Engineer with strong connections in the target geographies and industry.
Marketing - Creating awareness through credible professional channels (Linkedin campaigns and individual reach out)
R&D - complete the tests to adapt our solution to rivers over 500m wide.
• To achieve our goals, the relationships with public administrations will play a relevant role as they will be in charge of allowing our barriers to be installed and, depending on the specific case, partially or fully fund the construction expenses. Public administrations, especially in developing countries, are subject to inefficiencies and inconsistencies, in both decision processes and payments.
• Our technology is covered by an international patent. Yet, once the barriers will be in the rivers it wouldn’t be complicated to copy their features and replicate their main elements.
• We are building a network of Local Distributors that already have in place solid connections with the Local Authorities so that they can present our offer among their portfolio and can have an easier and more frequent communication exchange.
- Moreover, we are looking to partner with big waste recycling organizations to be able to offer a turnkey solution.
• We are also building a network of partnerships with private companies (ie. Plastic Bank, Clean Seas), and universities (University of Florence, Politecnico di Milan, the University of West of Scotland) that already have established governmental relationships.
• We are aware of the limited protection offered by patents in such a low-complexity/highly-visible environment. We anyway decided to go for a low-complexity solution to minimize the required maintenance and maximize the life-span of our system (theoretically infinite as made of just high-quality recycled plastic and steel). At the same time, we are working on creating a branding competitive advantage that will be much more complicated to copy. We are working on a targeted communication campaign to establish SEADS Sea Defence Solutions as the reference for River Plastic Protection systems.
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
2nd place at Impact Hub Milan Blue Economy prize 2018
Gold Prize at Mass Challenge CH 2019
Solar Impulse Foundation - Label
Won the competition and other awards
2nd place at Impact Hub Milan Blue Economy prize 2018 - 5K eur
Gold Prize at Mass Challenge CH 2019 - 30K eur