River Cleaning as a Free Service

The project recovers and converts waste plastic from polluted rivers and land into raw material for plastic production, to replace virgin fossil feedstock, lower GHG emissions and improve livelihoods.

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RiverRecycle

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Social causes

Beneficiaries

SDGs covered

Market of Implementation

  • Bangladesh
  • , India
  • , Indonesia
  • , Malaysia
  • , Philippines
  • , Thailand
  • , Vietnam

Problem

GHG emissions from plastic production: Greenhouse gases are emitted throughout the plastic lifecycle with just the production causing roughly 1,5GT i.e. 3,75% of global CO2 emissions. 6% global oil production (virgin fuels) is used in plastic production. Environmentally damaging waste management practices: Less than 10% plastic is recycled globally and many types of plastic are not widely recycled. Over 30% of plastic is not managed (i.e. ends up in the environment) leading to 1.7Gt of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2015 (via improper waste disposal, including open burning practices) Organic waste (approximately 64% waste in Asian countries) release Methane when left untreated in landfills and open environments. Environmental, river and ocean plastic pollution: Over 8MMT of plastic enters the oceans each year. 40-60% of this is going through only 39 rivers, 67% of which are in Asia. There are indications plastic interferes with the ocean’s ability to absorb and sequester carbon.

Solution

Reduce emissions: Our solution will establish a functioning system where plastic ‘waste’ is recovered (from rivers and/or land-based sources) and converted into raw material for plastic production. Our solution will result in: – An alternative feedstock for plastic production with lower GHG emissions from feedstock production – Lower emissions of methane from landfills by implementing bio-gas capture technologies for energy. – Avoided GHG emissions from open burning & other environmentally damaging waste practices. We are developing the solution in multiple countries. At Proof of Concept stage we will convert 1t of plastic waste to 500-750l of oil feedstock per day, that will produce approx. 264t of oil at full-scale per year per site, with a CO2eq saving of 86t. This proof of concept can be leveraged to scale to other affected river systems to save over 2,000t CO2eq emissions per year. This calculation is based on 20 additional sites, and can be accelerated with investment.

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