Keeping plastic out of the ocean

Launching the catamaran, lifted by HUD’s seawall crane.
Launching the catamaran, lifted by HUD's seawall crane. Image credit: Clean Waterways Initiative.
Clean Waterways Initiative ("CWI"), a Hong Kong NGO established in 2019, has partnered with banking group, HSBC, to build four specially designed catamarans, each capable of collecting and sorting more than 2,500 litres of floating plastic rubbish. The aim is to prevent plastic waste discarded in Hong Kong's densely populated waterways from being carried out by the tide into the open ocean, where it will have a harmful effect on marine ecosystems. In January, the first two solar-powered, zero-emission boats began operating on Hong Kong Island's two harbours – Victoria Harbour on the north side of the island, and Aberdeen Harbour, on the south. The third and fourth vessels will soon enter service.

Swire joint venture, HUD Group, provided their engineering facilities at Tsing Yi and skilled manpower services to assemble the boats at cost, in order to assist the project. CWI's innovative catamaran design incorporates separation bins for PET, HDPE, aluminium cans, polystyrene, etc. into the starboard hull. PET type 1 plastics (such as soft drinks bottles) and HDPE type 2 plastics (such as the bottles used for household cleaning products) are collected, compressed into bales onshore, and then trucked to New Life Plastics ("NLP"), Swire Coca-Cola's joint venture plastic waste recycling facility at Tuen Mun, where they are processed into food-grade ready rPET flakes and high-grade rHDPE pellets, which are sold to manufacturers to create further products.
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