Skip to main content

The second pillar of REMEDIES project is the marine litter collection and valorisation from at least 85% of identified plastic pollution detected sites. We will establish plastic litter valorisation strategies involving fishing gear, microplastics, marine litter collected and collection of the (bio)plastics at the events organised. The four technologies and innovations used in this pillar are: plastic collection and valorisation through citizen science, river cleaning, microplastics filtrations for washing machines and marinas, and clump and Skim technology.

We aim at designing and manufacturing an innovative microplastic trapping system in various locations. We will deploy microplastic filtration systems in Koper marina, Slovenia, and a laundry facility in Zaragoza, Spain. We will demonstrate circular water flow for vessel washing and laundry washing system by using a “Plug-&-play” water recycling system. This system will filter wastewater, allowing for water recycling and closing the water cycle. The Mykonos wastewater treatment plant will also be equipped with fluorescent dye detection and microplastic coagulation units to prevent microplastics from entering the Aegean Sea. Cross-evaluations of the trapping systems will be conducted, and comparisons with existing solutions will be made. The expected output includes over 95% removal of microplastics from wastewater and 70% water reuse in marinas and laundry facilities.

Plastic litter collection in rivers will be carried out using barrier systems. The focus will be on polluted areas with environmental, social, and economic significance, like Albanian River Lana, crossing Tirana, and the River Moulouya, in Morocco. The barriers will prevent 85-90% of riverine litter from reaching the Adriatic Sea, allowing for the collection of plastic material that can be recycled. The expected output includes collecting over 100 tonnes of floating plastic through river cleaning. Riverline litter in good condition will be collected and stocked to be recycled. Local partners will manage waste collection in collaboration with other project tasks. The trapped plastics will be monitored in coordination with other project components.

Sardinia and Mykonos are two islands located on specific positions, where they act as natural barriers capturing sea litter well, often originating from other regions. So, we plan to collect more than 1.500 kg of plastics on those two islands, through seabed cleaning of 5 beaches with divers’ help, and fishing of plastics with the aid of local fishermen. The fishing gear litters collected will be kept at the ports of those two islands, and later on be monitored and forwarded for valorisation.

We will align survey methodologies and citizen engagement strategies to organize clean-up activities in target areas. Local civil society leaders will receive training for litter characterization. The focus will be on touristic hotspots, conducting over 100 seasonal campaigns and surveys to collect data on pollution from waste of different origins. Awareness-raising actions will support clean-up efforts, and campaigns for no plastic litter beaches will be established. The goal is to engage over 2.000 citizens, collect over 20.000 kg of plastic litter, and improve the cleanup app. Demos will take place in Koper, Sardinia, Cyclades, Porquerolles, and Morocco. Finally, with the use of the plastics monitoring toolbox developed in the framework of the WP1 of the REMEDIES project, we will detect which plastic we have to deal with. PET, PP, and PE plastics can be directly processed using open-source recycling machines to create various products through shredding, pelletising, injection moulding, and 3D printing. Local partners will clean and disassemble PA (nylon) fishing gear, with the cleaned fraction being used for mechanical recycling and yarn/pellets production. The yarn will be used for textiles, and the pellets for composite materials. Non-recoverable fractions will be processed using thermomechanical and cold fluidification approaches. These materials will be used as fillers in recycled polymeric matrices to create composites. Demos will be conducted in various locations, resulting in over 10 different products and valorisation of over 80% of collected plastic in our demo sites.