THE OCEAN IS THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN LIFE AND ALL OTHER ORGANISMS ON THE PLANET
Our research team brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines. These include biologists, civil engineers, geographers, disposal engineers and process engineers. We work on the scientific fundamentals that are necessary to turn our vision into reality. Through research - e.g. on the transport behavior of plastic particles in water - we can develop the most effective methods for removing plastic from water and contribute to the implementation and further development of the original idea.
THE ORIGINAL IDEA
The original idea of PGS was to remove the plastics from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - the large garbage vortex that is far out in the Pacific Ocean. That's where our name comes from: Pacific Garbage Screening. In the video you can see how it all began.
AWAY FROM THE OPEN SEA - TO THE GREAT RIVERS: PGS HAS A NEW FOCUS
After many conversations with numerous international experts, we have now focused entirely on the rivers. We are convinced that our top priority must be to prevent plastics from getting into rivers at all, or at least from being transported from there into the open sea. Another reason for our focus on rivers is the unforeseeable consequences for marine life. Experts fear that many animals, plants and microorganisms that settle on the plastic will be more harmed than good if the plastic waste is removed from the open sea.
Since the open sea and rivers have different current-conditions, we cannot simply transfer our original concept. Therefore, we are in the process of adapting the size of the platform, the functional principle and the design. The platform will be smaller than initially planned and will operate in conjunction with several other platforms. In this way we want to be able to react flexibly to the individual conditions of different rivers and not interfere with shipping traffic.
CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
The development of the platform is one of the central themes of Pacific Garbage Screening. In cooperation with our strategic partners, the development of the platform is developed from the first small-scale trial to the first prototypes to ready-to-use platforms. This includes basic tests of individual components of the platforms as well as complex test rigs in which the overall structure of the platforms as a whole is investigated. In this way we generate a detailed understanding of the behavior of plastic waste in rivers and in our platforms, solve technical obstacles and achieve maximum efficiency in the extraction of plastic waste. In addition to conducting experiments, the successful development is also ensured by the establishment and expansion of a network of cooperation with engineering offices, associations and other projects and organisations concerned with combating plastic pollution.
RECYCLING OF PLASTIC WASTE
Our recycling team deals with the recycling of the gathered plastic waste and consists of engineers from chemistry and biotechnology. Plastic waste from rivers often no longer corresponds to its original state, as the structure is damaged by UV radiation or mechanical influences, for example, making it even more difficult to recycle the waste sustainably. In addition, the various types of plastic often contain pollutants that have to be discharged in order to generate the highest possible quality products.
One possible solution is to combine a material recycling process with upstream mechanical and thermal processing. In the current concept for thermal processing, the concrete procedural approach for the PGS system has deliberately been left open. For this very specific and demanding waste stream, a technology development and determination of suitable processes is only possible after comparative investigations and balancing. Since there are many different types of plastics, it is also possible that there is not one recycling method for all types of plastics, but specifically adapted solutions. Together with our partners, we are working on which recycling and recovery methods for the collected waste can best be integrated into an ecological cycle.