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The Great Bubble Barrier: An effective solution to plastic pollution

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Great Bubble Barrier (The Great Bubble Barrier: An effective solution to plastic pollution)

Période du rapport: 2019-09-01 au 2020-07-31

An estimated 8 billion kilograms of plastic enters the oceans every year, and this is expected to increase in the coming decades. The UN defined the protection of marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution as an SDG, which has been integrated in the European Commission’s international strategy. Marine and riverine plastic pollution affects the natural environment and human health. Furthermore, it is estimated that annual losses due to plastics for marine related industries amount to €1.77 billion. The Great Bubble Barrier provides a solution to the leakage of plastic to the ocean. Up to 80% of marine plastic stems from land via rivers. The Bubble Barrier stops plastic waste in waterways. This feasibility study focuses on the potential to expand from the Dutch to the European market.
The technical feasibility study resulted in a better categorisation of types of waterways, to enable easier scaling of the Bubble Barrier in between different waterway types. For EU expansion, producing materials locally in the Netherlands turned out the best option, to assure a high quality. The economic feasibility resulted in an overview of 1. Cost optimisation and 2. Feasibility of offering Product-as-a-Service (PaaS). Cost optimisation was based on Dutch projects, providing a fundament for future European projects. The PaaS analysis showed more Bubble Barriers need to be sold before this becomes a feasible option to offer to clients. The market analysis indicated that the riverine cleaning market is still developing in Belgium, Germany, the UK and Norway. This provides opportunities, but also challenges. However, the opportunities provide plenty of reason to move abroad.
The study included a wide array of factors, therefore giving a complete insight in the feasibility to expand to the European market.

The results equip The Great Bubble Barrier with:
1. An understanding of how a Bubble Barrier can scale to different waterways
2. Insight into how technical operations can be managed for projects abroad
3. Insight into how costs can be optimised
4. Knowledge of what financing options can be offered to clients
5. Market knowledge of four foreign markets
6. A strategy to move beyond Dutch borders

Using this knowledge, The Great Bubble Barrier is ready to enter the European marketplace to increase its impact in protecting the riverine and marine environment. The goal is not only to stop plastic, but also to increase awareness and set in motion a movement, by shining a light on the plastic free waterway forward.
Bubble Barrier Amsterdam - Westerdok, source: The Great Bubble Barrier, 2019