The Pacific Garbage Screening (PGS) is a project led by the German architect Marcella Hansch. The aim of the project is to built an offshore platform able to give a new life to plastic waste. The plastic waste dispersed in the oceans can’t be easily recycled because of the damaging effect of salt water which compromises the chemical and physical composition of the plastic.

At the moment, the Pacific Garbage Screening is just at the beginning of its development: a crowdfunding campaign has been opened to reach the 5 millions of euro in 5 years.

The floating platform

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The idea of the no-profit organisation found in 2016 is to realize a floating platform higher more that 400 metres.Most of the structure is under the sea surface. Its design makes possible to filter plastic particles out of the water. Although plastic is lighter than water, ocean currents drag floating plastic particles at more than 30 metres beneath the water’s surface. Therefore, the shape of PGS and its underwater canals have to calm the water currents, allowing the plastic to rise to the surface using its own natural draft, where it can be easily collected. Moreover, nets or other filtration systems are not required. Thus, the impact of PSG on the marine life is minimum.

As my awareness of the complexity of the problem grew, so too did my determination to develop an overall approach to helping preserve our oceans!

One of the proposed solution to re-use the plastic waste collected involves gasification, so that a synthetic gas consisting mainly of hydrogen and carbon dioxide can be produced. The hydrogen can be used as an energy source for fuel cells, thereby providing an ecological supply for the facility. The carbon dioxide generated by gasification is not released into the atmosphere. It can be supplied as a nutrient to algae cultures then employed to produce a biodegradable bioplastic.

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The future of Pacific Garbage Screening

At the moment, a team of 28 researchers of engineers, biologists, geologists is working on the project. The organisation is working on final papers and seminar papers in universities to present their research, in order to attract research funds and cooperation with interested partners. The recent results regard the fields of “plastic removal” and “plastic processing”.

To become a member or support the project, see here.