September 21, 2010
Covanta Energy Corporation and Project Kaisei have joined forces to clean up ocean debris as part of a project commitment with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) - an initiative established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Project Kaisei is a non-governmental organization focused on reducing plastic waste in the ocean. Covanta Energy is an international owner and operator of large-scale Waste to Energy (WtE) and renewable energy projects.
The partnership was formally announced during the opening plenary at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York.
Together the partnership has committed to clean up ocean debris, beginning with the Plastic Vortex in the North Pacific Gyre; stem future plastic waste flows from entering oceans; and test a new waste-to-fuel technology for the remediation of non-recyclable plastics and plastic waste.
The partners say that the project will showcase how plastic, and waste in general, can have a beneficial secondary market value when properly processed, and will help initiate a larger scale cleanup effort of the ocean, aiding in the protection of marine life.
Beginning in late 2010, Project Kaisei, the lead on the project, will collect plastic debris from the ocean for remediation testing. Covanta Energy will use the debris to test its new waste-to-fuel technology to convert the plastic into a diesel substitute using its catalytic process for converting solid organic materials directly to mineral diesel fuel. If successful, the end result is expected to be an innovative, sustainable solution for communities around the world to deal with non-recyclable plastics and plastic waste.
"It is estimated that roughly 90% of plastics made today aren't recycled. This poses a significant opportunity for reuse, recycling and energy recovery," said Paul Gilman, Covanta Energy Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. "We believe our partnership with Project Kaisei will bring worldwide attention to the issue of plastic in our ocean and shed light on how sustainable solutions such as waste-to-fuel and energy-from-waste can support marine debris remediation."
"We are honoured to make this commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative because it has an outstanding record of doing what's right by creating partnerships that deliver results," said Doug Woodring, Co-Founder of Project Kaisei. "Through our collaboration with Covanta Energy, the marine debris we collect will not only be removed from the ocean, but converted into something valuable. We are hopeful that our partnership will motivate the development of additional solutions and technologies for land-based prevention that can bring an end to marine debris and plastic waste pollution."