Reseaclons: the recycling of plastic waste at sea

682

Every day, 700 tonnes of waste flow into the Mediterranean.  In Grau-du-Roi, a collection and recovery channel for marine litter was created in April 2018. The project is called Reseaclons, and it’s proving to be a great success.

The fishing boats are the first link in the chain.

When the fishing nets are dragged in, inevitably they contain a lot of waste that clings to the mesh.  After a day fishing a boat can easily bring back five bins filled with waste.

“I am very sensitive to pollution in the Mediterranean, it is a constant concern, it is very important for us to capture all these plastics before they break up because when they end up in micro particles, it is no longer possible to collect them and this will be ingested by the fish” explained Dominique Duprat, fishing manager at Grau-du-Roi.

All these collected plastics are then transported to a dump. They are then sorted.

Only very hard plastics are excluded from the process.  Everything else, 95% of plastics, are used. It is a long way ahead of ordinary sorting, where only 20% of plastic can be recycled and the rest ends up in landfill.

Every year 1.5 tonnes of plastics collected by the fishing teams are sent to the plastics manufacturer Triveo who have invented a revolutionary process.

A major innovation

Plastics are not uniform and you cannot normally mix different polymers together. But the company Triveo have created an innovative technique.

“We are able to assemble plastics of different natures. A bottle, a tray and a pot of yogurt can be mingled by a friction-compression process.  The raw material is crushed and sieved to create fine glitter and then we create a new homogeneous material, we managed to do what nobody has ever done before. This is a technical feat!” said Xavier Murard at the initiative of the project Reseaclons.

Sea cups

This material is then put into a mould and a small pot is created, known as a sea cup.  The pots are then sold at the Seaquarium Marine Institute.

“We can make a pencil pot, an ashtray, a small bowl for olive stones. It is an ethical object because obviously we can find small classic pots made in China at 1.50€, but the ‘sea cup’ represents 60g of plastics recovered at sea. Buying this little cup is first and foremost a responsible act,” explained Pauline Constantin, who is in charge of development at the Marine Institute.

Other objects could soon see the light of day. Pauline Constantin suggested that Triveo are working on new concepts such as lamps. Design objects that should interest another type of audience.

“We recently had the chance to meet a Parisian designer who has just moved to Nîmes, she was seduced by this project and offered us a partnership with the famous Boule school of applied arts and architecture. We would like to explore other worlds and find more design shapes” added Pauline Constantin.

Source: France 3