Plastic Pollution Challenge
It had been established that the major source of plastic waste was first, the plastic refuse expelled by multiple river systems situated along the Davao coastline that drift towards the Island Garden City of Samal and litter its shoreline.
The second source of imported plastic waste are those transported to, and randomly disposed on the island by, tourists visiting the island.
Ideally, a greater part of the solution to IGACOS’ shoreline plastic refuse problem would be stringent proper waste disposal imposed on the Davao City side of the channel. The more attainable practical solution is to install sock nets on the city’s sewage network to prevent plastic from being carried to the ocean by the river systems.
These measures take time to implement, so the solution with immediate impact is to contain floating garbage as they exit river systems during heavy rains. Among innovators, floating trash collectors mounted on catamaran platforms is a standard design. The PMO Ocean Sweeper is a “poor man’s version” of its sophisticated cousins but will accomplish the same task through indigenous, creative innovations.
Empirical data validates the fact that the City of Davao generates an alarming volume of plastic waste that find their way into the ocean; those that remain afloat eventually litters the shoreline of the Island Garden City of Samal.
When operational, the PMO Ocean Sweeper is predicted to accomplish the following:
- Control and capture floating plastic debris at its source. As the cyclic logo suggests, plastic retrieved from the ocean will be melted and sculpted into fish habitats.
- As an independent marine engine, the Pinoy Marine Outboard will empower local fishermen with an engine that replicates, and surpasses, the capabilities of traditional marine outboards. The versatile engine is envisioned to boost fish production.
- Reduced plastic waste results in less coral, seagrass and mangrove decay and ultimately revives marine life.
- Mitigating the imported plastic shoreline trash problem results in eliciting positive impressions from visitors and ultimately results in a more vibrant tourism industry for the Island Garden City of Samal.
The team leader is a student of Practical Solutions. In line with this, he designed a convertible boat mold which can cast hulls in two sizes. The 24-foot model can be deployed as efficient passenger transports, tour boats and given its shallow draft, a viable watercraft for beach resorts without docking facilities. The 13-foot model will be ideal yacth tenders, utility, dive, or rescue boats.
As an independent unit, the PMO, having superior maneuverability than commercial outboard motors, is expected to be well received well by both weekend and commercial fishermen. At less than half the cost of its branded cousins, the PMO accepts prime movers from 3 to 20 horsepower.
Traction & Key Metrics
The business environment is about “show and tell”. Upon completion and sea trials, the PMO Ocean Sweeper should elicit positive response. Local government units that have plastic trash expelling river systems will need one. The 13-foot catamaran will make an excellent and viable replacement for the failed water taxi operations servicing Samal island. Likewise, the PMO is a far safer, more versatile and affordable option to other innovations such as the longtail boats of Thailand.
It is projected that the launching of the PMO Ocean Sweeper will escalate in its deployment at the mouths of other major rivers that expel plastic waste into the ocean within the archipelago. The 24-foot version is ideal for cargo and/or passenger transport. There already have been inquiries about the use of the 13-footers as possible passenger transport plying the expansive Agusan Marsh in Northern Mindanao.
If declared a winner of the UNDP-EPPIC contest, the expected grant will be just adequate to construct a fully operational solar Ocean Sweeper. Using internal combustion marine engines saves about 300 thousand pesos. However, the contest is about sustainability so solar power seems to be the mandated way to go.
It must be noted that a completed convertible boat mold will be accomplished along with the project entry itself. The team forecasts a demand for the 13-foot catamaran and accumulated deposits will help finance a viable business operation.