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Company invents high-tech drone to fight global marine trash problem: 'We are part of the solution'

"It's exciting to know our technologies will have a significant impact."

"It's exciting to know our technologies will have a significant impact."

Photo Credit: Instagram

The Cleaning Drone, a new technology, is helping the fight against water pollution. Developed by Clean Sea Solutions, this autonomous aquatic drone is making waves in environmental conservation efforts.

As reported by Business Norway, the Cleaning Drone is an unmanned surface vehicle designed to collect and store marine plastic waste along waterfronts, preventing its flow into the open ocean. 

This groundbreaking solution comes at a critical time when marine pollution is recognized as one of the fastest-growing environmental problems globally. According to the Ocean Conservancy, an estimated 11 million metric tons (more than 12 million tons) of plastic find their way into our oceans annually, posing a grave threat to marine life and ecosystems.

Equipped with a self-emptying system and powered entirely by electricity, the Cleaning Drone can efficiently remove plastic waste from ports, canals, and estuaries. Its autonomy also reduces the need for constant human supervision, making it a cost-effective and sustainable solution for marine cleanup operations.

"Our goal is to create clean water zones near the shore," said Per Elvestuen, co-founder and CEO of Clean Sea Solutions, per Business Norway. "It's exciting to know our technologies will have a significant impact on a global problem and that we are part of the solution."

By intercepting plastic waste before it reaches the open ocean, this technology safeguards marine life from ingestion of and entanglement in hazardous debris. It also prevents the breakdown of plastics into toxic microplastics, which helps mitigate the risk of harm to both wildlife and human health.

One of these threats is that floating plastic trash poses a risk for creating new transportation routes for potentially harmful species. This means that species that normally wouldn't be able to travel to certain parts of the ocean are hitching rides on plastic debris, which can lead to invasive species problems and disrupt local ecosystems. 

Another threat is microplastics, tiny fragments of plastic that are found nearly everywhere — even inside our bodies — and we're still learning about the potential health effects they could have on us.

The Cleaning Drone also helps with the reduction of harmful gas pollution from plastic pollution. Studies have shown that the Cleaning Drone can save an impressive 155,000 metric tons (about 171 tons) of carbon dioxide equivalents per year through its waste collection efforts.

Additionally, the aesthetic improvement of tourist destinations and beaches adds value to local economies and enhances the overall visitor experience. With cleaner waterfronts, communities can attract more tourism and investment, leading to economic growth and prosperity.

"The clean water zones we create will enhance the customer's environmental profile and give them a competitive advantage by showing they take the marine waste problem seriously," Elvestuen said, per Business Norway.

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