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The increase in plastic waste

The amount of plastic waste annually spilled into the seas is higher every year, and several studies indicate that most of this waste comes from rivers.

In the Mediterranean, 95% of the total waste at sea is made of plastic that has not been correctly disposed of by man, with devastating impacts on species and habitats. Also in the Mediterranean according to the WWF, there are 134 species that are victims of plastic ingestion, including all sea turtles species, which confuse plastic bags with prey. Before the ban on the use of plastic shopping bags was introduced in Italy in 2011, 20-25 billion bags were used each year (1/4 of those in Europe, equivalent to 260 thousand tons of plastic): many of these ended up in our sea and beaches. Many people are currently making several efforts to “limit” the problem, but the collection of polluting materials still requires a huge amount of labor and money. The main problem operating in river environments is the need to find a common and adaptable solution to very different situations, both in terms of width and depth of the water course and in terms of navigability. Current solutions include boats with draft systems, net systems or barriers that temporarily close the river’s viability. Each installation requires specific means and specific studies, resulting in high costs; it is also extremely difficult to create permanent installations precisely because of the inconveniences they involve.

Our solution

The solution we studied is a solution with a very low environmental impact, modular and able to adapt to any watercourse. In the study of this project, physical simulation tests were performed using software, and prototypes were built and tested to verify their functionality.


The RIVER CLEANING system, by means of the rotary movement of special floating devices anchored to the river bed and their particular transverse arrangement compared to the river, conveys all floating waste in transit to a single point, where a collection system can then be placed.


The plant does not interfere with river traffic


It does not interfere with the life of the fauna


It does not require personnel


The device is modular and can be industrialized


It takes advantage of the river current for a zero impact solution


Any failure is limited to the individual units

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