19 institutions from 13 EU-countries and 2 non-EU countries have launched a four-year-long Horizon 2020 project set to reduce marine litter pollution
The Newly funded, EU Horizon 2020 project CLAIM targets increasing pollution in marine areas by focusing on the development of innovative cleaning technologies and approaches. CLAIM stands for “Cleaning marine Litter by developing and Applying Innovative Methods in European Seas.”
During CLAIMs, official project kick-off last week in Heraklion, Greece. Almost 70 scientists and representatives of small or medium enterprises (SMEs), from across Europe gathered together to set the stepping-stone for this promising EU project. CLAIM will develop innovative cleaning technologies and approached, targeting the prevention and in situ management of visible and invisible marine litter in the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea.
Marine Litter – a major environmental problem
“Marine Litter has been detected worldwide in all major marine habitats, in sizes from microns to meters. Especially in the marine and coastal environments of semi-enclosed seas, such as the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea, litter pollution is a challenging restoration and governance issue”, comments Co-coordinator, Dr. Nikoleta Bellou, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece.
Recognized as a major environmental problem, the presence and accumulation of plastic debris in the marine environment have seen a substantial increase in global production of plastics increasing twenty-fold in the last fifty years. For 2010 alone, estimations show that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic litter entered the marine environment.
“Involving multiple parties and taking up an ecosystems approach will be at the heart of CLAIM’s research” explains coordinator Dr. George Triantafyllou, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece. “Apart from introducing innovative technologies we also want to stress on the importance of healthy oceans and seas for ecosystem services and hence also for society’s wellbeing.”
CLAIM – New technologies and approaches
Within the lifetime of CLAIM the project will develop models that will determine and allow visualizing the concentration of visible and invisible litter in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. These concentration maps are important to understand the impact on marine ecosystem services, such as fishing or touristic areas that have a direct effect on human health.
CLAIM project will develop and apply a Prefiltering system & a Photocatalytic device to be used in wastewater treatment plants to prevent invisible litter entering our seas. Visible litter, on the other hand, reaches our seas mainly through rivers. Therefore, new Marine litter containment floating formation barrier will be designed and manufactured that will be tested at river mouths.
For determining the contamination of invisible litter in our seas, an automated seawater-sampling device will be combined with a passive newly developed flow through a filtering system. They will be installed in commercial vessels and ferryboats and enable a continuous monitoring, important for the MSFD.
Another innovative idea is to transform litter into energy on boats and at ports. A thermal waste treatment based on plasma technology transforms solid waste into a combustible gas, called syngas, and a recyclable solid residue.
The Blue Reporters are looking forward reporting more and give you insights about the next steps and achievements of the CLAIM project that is funded under Horizon 2020 Call BG-07-2017: Blue green innovation for clean coasts and seas.