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The Race for Water

Country Focus | 16 August 2019

In a world where overwhelming plastic waste threatens the survival of our oceans, the Race for Water foundation rallies the world to action through its learn, share, act programme.

Race for Water vessel
Race for Water foundation is an organisation dedicated to the preservation of water, and in particular, the oceans. Photos courtesy of Race for Water foundation/NOWJAKARTA

The average person generates more than 50kg plastic waste per year, 5 to 10 per cent of which ends up in the ocean, killing 1.5 million animals every year. Plastic makes up 80 per cent of marine waste today. These are especially disturbing facts, especially considering how 50 per cent of humanity is nourished by the oceans and that 50 per cent of all the oxygen on Earth is produced by the oceans. If we let things continue at the current rate, there will be more plastics than fish in the oceans by 2050.

Oceanic plastic waste has been a global concern even before the turn of the century, but not enough individuals are taking concrete action to take on this problem head on. If we are to have any chance of saving the oceans—and to that effect, humanity—we need more individuals like Marco Simeoni, who is going to great lengths to defend our oceans.

Race for Water is fully prepared to support a circular plastic economy that is sustainable and environmentally friendly...

In 2010, the Swiss entrepreneur created the Race for Water Foundation, an organisation dedicated to the preservation of water, and in particular, the oceans. The flagship of this movement is, quite literally, the Race For Water is a massive catamaran vessel that is 100 per cent self-sufficient thanks to its ability to harness solar energy via its 512 sq. m. and 7.5 tons Lithium-ion batteries combined with the latest hydrogen technology.

The Race for Water’s first odyssey in 2015 spanned a total of 32,000 nautical miles, visiting three oceans and five major waste concentration area. The voyage provided a clear conclusion that a large-scale clean-up of the oceans is unrealistic.

Learn, Share, Act

Race for Water vessel
Race for Water is fully prepared to support a circular plastic economy that is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

In 2017, the vessel embarked on a second expedition, which will last for five years until 2021. With 35 stopovers and a mission to raise awareness, identify, promote and deploy local solutions for transforming plastic waste into energy. This mission carries the Learn, Share, Act programme.

As part of its Learn agenda, the ambassador vessel will carry out ten scientific missions programmed with universities and international institutions in order to contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge on plastic pollution in water.

The vessel’s stopovers is expected to have over 50,000 children, decision-makers, industry manufacturers, media and government authorities and Share the findings of its journeys to raise awareness among the general public and educate younger generations.

Emphasising the need to Act, a field survey is carried out at each stopover in order to promote and help implement solutions with a sustainable economic, environmental and social impact.

Local Solution to a Global Problem

Race for Water is fully prepared to support a circular plastic economy that is sustainable and environmentally friendly by coming up with a solution that, if deployed on a large scale, can put an end to most of the contamination of the oceans from plastic waste.

Introducing Biogreen®, a high temperature pyrolysis technology reaching using 850°C, combustion-free power developed to transform all plastic waste into electricity. These contained units can be installed close to inhabited areas and allow isolated communities, such as islands, to manage their waste management and energy production independently.

With the Biogreen®, 5 to 12 tons of plastic waste can be treated daily within a population of 50,000 to 250,000 inhabitants. This cutting-edge invention can produce up to 2.5 MWh electricity per tonne, equivalent to around 6,000 households in targeted areas.

Visit www.raceforwater.org for more information.