Race for Water Foundation promotes plastic waste to energy solution

The Race for Water mixed solar-hydrogen-kite-powered vessel at the Apia port until this Friday

By Faye Seiuli

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2018: The Race for Water Foundation has mounted a weeklong awareness and solutions programme in Samoa to reduce plastic pollution of the oceans.

Turn Plastic waste into energy resources for environmental, social and economic benefits, is the purpose of the Race for Water vessel that was welcomed by SPREP staff at the Apia wharf this morning.

The mixed solar-hydrogen-kite-powered vessel, demonstrates that sustainable solutions for ocean conservation do exist thanks to innovative technologies. The aim is to promote and create awareness that to protect the oceans from plastics; the problem needs to be addressed on the land.

“We’re demonstrating that if we take action on land, it is possible to curb plastic pollution of the oceans, notably by integrating technology capable of transforming plastic waste into marketable energy resources,” said Captain Jean-Marc Normant.

“In this way, we’re creating a value chain for end-of-life plastic waste with environmental, economic and socially sustainable benefits,” he added.

Race for Water Captain Jean-Marc Normant

The Race for Water will be accelerating energy transition by demonstrating that a vessel powered by a mixture of solar-hydrogen-kite energies is capable of completing a 5 year expedition around the World.

“We are aiming at protecting the ocean form plastic pollution all around the world,” said Peter Charae, Media specialist of the Foundation.

Race for Water wants Samoa and other Pacific islands to reduce plastic pollution and use it to generate energy for cheaper electricity.

Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme acknowledged the presence of the Race for Water crew and their public awareness message.

“We made a political commitment last year during the Forum meeting and our own Prime Minister has spoken about the importance addressing this issue. Next year there’s a new legislation coming into force which will ban single use plastics and we’ve been supporting the government and MNRE in terms of developing legislation,” said Latu.

The Race for Water Foundation is inviting some schools for its awareness programme on the vessel, because they believe teaching children about plastic pollution will be a good start and students will tell other students and their parents.

The crew will be leaving for Tonga on Friday morning.

Some of Race for Water crew

About Race for Water Foundation and its mission
In 2010, Swiss entrepreneur, Marco Simeoni, created the Foundation in Lausanne and devoted all of his entrepreneurial fibre to the service of the oceans. With his passion for the sea, he decided in 2015 to launch a scientific and environmental expedition, the Race for Water Odyssey, to make the first one-swoop global assessment of our ocean’s plastic pollution.

The conclusions were clear; ‘plastic islands’ do not exist. In effect, the idea of collecting plastic waste at sea turns out to be a utopian dream. Instead, in the middle of the oceans there is a ‘soup’ of microplastics that swirls amidst the oceanic gyres.

“We very quickly realised that the solution lay back on land. It is absolutely essential to prevent plastic waste from reaching the oceans”, Marco Simeon explains, President of the Race for Water Foundation.

On 9 April 2017, Race for Water set sail around the world on a new five-year odyssey to propose solutions for the preservation of the oceans. “In 2015, we were, in the final analysis, powerless against the sheer scale of the problem of plastic solution of the oceans. With this 2017-2021 Odyssey aboard our mixed solar-hydrogen-kite-powered vessel, we want to demonstrate that sustainable solutions for ocean conservation do exist thanks to innovative technologies.”