How Bubbles Keep Plastic Out of the Sea

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

The power of tiny bubbles is being harnessed to remove plastic pollution from Europe’s rivers.

Dutch start-up The Great Bubble Barrier has developed a clever way of intercepting rubbish by creating a curtain of bubbles that pushes plastics to the side of the waterway. In a pilot test on a main Amsterdam canal, the bubbles caught 86 percent of material, thereby stopping the vast majority of the canal's plastic pollution reaching the North Sea, reports EuroNews Green.

As a result of this success, the team is taking their technology outside of the Netherlands for the first time, with a new Bubble Barrier to launch in Porto, Portugal in summer 2022.

"There is an urgent need for measures that stop plastic from flowing into our oceans. With the installation of a Bubble Barrier in the Porto region, we will be able to tackle the problem close to the source" explains co-founder of The Great Bubble Barrier and Chief Technical Officer Philip Ehrhorn.

According to a recent study in the UK journal Nature, the Porto region is home to two of the rivers with the highest levels of plastic pollution in Portugal. So, introducing the bubble technology should have a profound impact on stopping yet more polluting detrius entering the sea.

Here's a 1 minute video explaining how this clever, cheap and innovative idea works...


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