plastic waste at sea

Manta, the giant ocean-cleaning quadrimaran...

The revolutionary project imagined by yachtsman Yvan Bourgnon is entering a new phase. After a year and a half of feasibility studies and search for financing, the French-Swiss navigator-adventurer unveils a model of the final version of a new vessel at the cutting edge of innovation, the MANTA, a plastic waste collector at sea. With an ambitious objective: to collect up to 250 tonnes of plastic waste per sea trip. First launch: 2022.
Cow to fight against a global ecological disaster: reducing plastic pollution of the oceans? When we know that 9 million tons of plastic waste are thrown into the seas each year; that 1 million birds are killed each year; that 100,000 marine mammals are killed each year; that more than 1,400 marine species are already impacted; that 70 % of floating waste end up sinking after one year and that it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to degrade, ... All this also has important consequences on human health (sterility, hormonal disturbances, growth disorders ...) and on the economic activity of countries (degradation of coastal tourism, destruction of fisheries resources ...).
It's a crazy new challenge that Yvan Bourgnon, winner of the 1997 double-handed Transat Jacques-Vabre with his brother Laurent, himself double winner of the Route du Rhum in 1994 and 1998, who has since disappeared in French Polynesia in 2015.
His successful crossing between Alaska and Greenland in the summer of 2017 made him the first "veil" to link the Pacific to the Atlantic by this route. That's if the challenges don't scare him off...
Yvan Bourgnon
The adventurous sailor, Chairman of the association The SeaCleaners created in September 2016, which aims to fight against ocean pollution, unveiled a preview of the 1/80th scale model of the "Manta", the future giant quadrimaran collecting plastic waste in the oceans, on Monday 9th April. Only the project had already been presented at COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco.
This revolutionary ship will combine renewable energies to achieve total autonomy, and will house a real plant for sorting, compressing and storing the plastic waste collected (more than 250 tonnes of waste will be stored in its hulls before being repatriated to land).

The Manta: a revolutionary factory ship

Since the success of the December 2016 crowdfunding campaign, The SeaCleaners has been keeping its promises. This participative method of financing has enabled the association to raise €150,000, almost double the amount initially envisaged. Since then, more than 3,000 hours of studies have been carried out by 6 design offices, whose specialists have developed the project to bring it into line with the reality on the ground. The result of this first phase of work means that the final version of the vessel can now be unveiled today, with a 1/80th scale model which will present the unprecedented and impressive combination of technologies embarked on the first Quadrimaran marine waste collector.
A giant of the seas against pollution: 70 metres long, 49 metres wide, 61 metres high. The Manta will use state-of-the-art tools to remove floating plastic macro-waste before it degrades and irreversibly pollutes marine biodiversity.
For this purpose, a real factory will be on board to collect, sort, compact and store plastic waste. Three collectors will be installed between the ship's hulls in the form of conveyor belts to quickly bring up large quantities of plastics. The Manta will be able to store more than 250 tonnes of waste in its hulls before repatriating it to land, where it will be taken care of by suitable recycling centres.
Beyond its mission to clean up the oceans, MANTA is in itself an unprecedented technological gamble. Propulsion and the ship's energy autonomy are two fundamental challenges of the project.
With a view to ever-increasing innovation, MANTA will be powered by several renewable energy sources. It will be propelled by four DynaRig rigs and four electric motors. To power them, it will incorporate several combined renewable energy production technologies associated with an optimized energy storage system. 2,000 m2 of solar panels will be installed on the deck of the quadrimaran and two vertical wind turbines will use the force of the wind to produce electricity. This will enable MANTA to be autonomous in its displacement and collection phases and to be able to move around in all areas of high pollution density (estuaries, coastal areas...).


The Manta: a global project

The battle against ocean pollution is being fought on all fronts and is also being won on land. It is essential to trace pollution back to its source in order to reduce plastic consumption and waste upstream. MANTA will serve as a basis for the development of awareness-raising actions aimed at the populations most affected by plastic pollution. This is the most essential dimension of this ecological mission.
In the same vein, this project is intended to become a lever of the circular economy. The collected plastics will form the basis of a dynamic local and circular economy. The Manta will make it possible to initiate or develop initiatives to transform waste into raw materials and to boost the economy of the countries where the collections will be made.
The association also pursues a scientific goal of observation and analysis. Each collection will be geolocalized, quantified and qualified thanks to the setting up of a real laboratory on board the ship. All the data will then be published in Open Data in order to allow access to the entire international community.
According to Yvan Bourgnon, a hundred Manta would be necessary to collect all the plastics of this "8th continent", so called by researchers because 95 % of macro-plastics are concentrated on 5 % of maritime surfaces. According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports of Thursday, March 22, 2018, the size of this vortex would be 4 to 16 times larger than previous research suggests: about 1.6 million km2, or three times the size of France. According to them, it is increasing "exponentially".
Project Program :
2018: Feasibility studies - Technical specifications - Technical tests in simulators - Financial partnerships
2019: Selection of the shipyard - Start of construction - Financial partnerships
2020: Building the ship - Financial partnerships
2021: End of construction - Boat launch - Technical tests
2022: First collection missions
To go further :
- Book "Ice Conqueror. De l'Alaska au Groenland à la voile en solitaire " by Yvan Bourgnon - Editions Arthaud, March 2018
- Yvan Bourgnon's film "En Equilibre sur l'océan" (In Balance on the Ocean)

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