7 Nov 2023

The SCG-DMCR Litter Trap: SCGC Innovative Solution to Marine Waste Problems

In 2018, SCGC collaborated with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) to research and develop innovations for trapping litter in rivers and canals, aimed at reducing the amount of debris flowing from rivers and canals into the ocean and mitigating its impact on marine life and ecosystems. In 2019, we jointly developed the SCG-DMCR Litter Trap Generation 1, designed to enhance the efficiency of trapping floating litter and installed in rivers and canals to capture water-related debris.

Subsequently, in 2020, SCGC refined and further developed the floating litter trap, launching the second generation to improve its litter-trapping efficiency and ease of installation. This advancement led to transforming the structure and material into a floating pontoon, known as HDPE-Bone. The characteristics of this floating litter trap, called the HDPE-Bone (SCG-DMCR Litter Trap Generation 2), were incorporated to enhance its capabilities.

The structure consists of HDPE pipes leftover from the testing process in SCGC's plants. The mesh at the bottom has gaps larger than 3 inches, preventing small marine animals from getting trapped. The floating material, HDPE-Bone, originates from components used in making floating solar farms, a design and innovation by SCGC. It is made from polyethylene plastic resins, which possess special properties: they contain UV-resistant agents, are strong, durable, and have a long service life of up to 25 years. Furthermore, they are lightweight, environmentally friendly, and easy to assemble and install.

The uniqueness of the floating litter trap lies in its specially designed open-close mechanism, which operates based on the water's flow and pressure. This feature ensures that debris is effectively captured, preventing it from drifting out of the trap, regardless of the water current's direction that changes with the tide. A single litter trap can capture up to 700 kilograms of debris. The amount of trash collected varies depending on the trap's location. Collected waste is properly and appropriately disposed of. Due to this innovative mechanism, the floating litter trap was granted a patent for inventive intellectual property in 2020.

Currently, floating litter traps have been placed at the mouths of rivers, with a total of 37 units distributed across 17 provinces nationwide. These units have successfully captured over 71 tons of waste. This initiative has received collaboration from the Marine Ranger Network, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources officials, and local municipalities involved in waste collection. Recyclable waste can be sold, generating revenue, and further processed in the management system.

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