September 4, 2018

Tech Company Develops Aquadrone to Tackle Plastic Pollution

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Catherine Benson Wahlén

29 August 2018: The Dutch company RanMarine Technology has developed the WasteShark, an aquadrone that can “suck up” garbage from the water. The aquadrone aims to stop plastic pollution at the source, eliminating floating debris before it drifts into the world’s oceans.

Preventing and reducing marine pollution, particularly from land-based activities, is the aim of SDG target 14.1. SDG 14 (life below water) focuses on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

RanMarine Technology modeled the WasteShark after the whale shark, a filter feeder that consumes plankton and small crustaceans by sucking them through its long, flat mouth. The WasteShark has “an enormous mouth” that is designed to skim the water and track down trash, operating based on the same principles as the whale shark. The aquadron is best suited to collect trash in areas known as “waste chokeholds” such as canals, harbors, ponds and rivers.

The WasteShark can swim for up to 16 hours and collect up to 200 liters of trash in one trip. It is capable of sending information back to a central command, including data on pH levels, conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, ammonium, chloride, nitrate and other water quality parameters. The aquadron is steered through a plotted iPad map or manually, using a remote control. According to RanMarine Technology, the aquadrone does not harm fish or birds and is visible to shipping traffic.