'Bubble barrier' could stop plastic waste in rivers from polluting our oceans

A startup is building a bubble barrier across a canal in Amsterdam


NSFW    AMSTERDAM — Dutch-based startup "The Great Bubble Barrier" says that air bubbles could stop plastic waste in rivers from reaching the ocean.

The company says its program features a pipe and air compressor that generate bubbles and a trap system that gathers plastics on the canal of Amsterdam's Westerdok.

New Atlas reports that a previous trial collected 86 percent of riverbourne plastic trash.

The company states that the barrier's diagonal placement uses the water flow to guide the plastic waste to the catchment system on the riverside for collection.

The pipe supplements the garbage collection boats that also clean 42 tonnes of plastic trash from the canal each year.

While boats could not gather submerged plastic objects, the bubble barrier generates upward flow that brings the plastics to the catchment system on the surface.

The company also claims that the bubble barrier pumps oxygen into the river, which prevents algae blooms and bolsters the aquatic ecosystem.
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