It does not always have to be the cleaning of plastic in oceans that gets attention from the public. Seehamster (Sea Hamster) has made some swimmers in Southern Bavaria really happy (and Bavaria is a long way from the sea).
One Earth – One Ocean (OEOO), an association aiming to free the oceans from plastic waste, has built some very interesting clean-up boats. I have already posted some lines on their catamaran Seekuh, starting its clean-up mission in Hong Kong beginning of 2017.
The one having started it all for OEOO, however, is a tiny boat called Seehamster. Its looks might be, well, “harmless”. But it is efficient in getting quite a lot of unnecessary stuff out of the water.
Seehamster cleaning a swimming lake
One of Seehamster’s first missions and testing grounds (waters…) was a swimming lake in Germering, Southern Bavaria, Germany. The number of swimmers and bathers had decreased over the years, mainly because the lake looked rather disgusting. It was not plastics or other waste floating around, mud and algae stopped guests from enjoying the waters.
Seehamster had been tested, of course, but this was the first real thing. For days Seehamster cruised the lake. It removed algae from the water and dumped it on the shore. I’ve heard that the local garbage collectors had a hard time moving all the dried algae to the waste disposal site…
To keep the story short: It was a huge success. Swimmers returned, the mayor was more than happy with a cleaner lake. And Günther Bonin, founder of OEOO, had successfully tested his prototype of a clean-up boat.
Checking out the Kieler Woche
During the Kieler Woche, one of the largest sailing and party events in Northern Europe, thousands of people are either on or near the water. Seehamster checked out the salty waters of the Baltic Sea, plus collected quite a few items which were not supposed to be in the water.
This test in (nearly) open waters also proved to be successful. The way Seehamster had been built enabled just one person to collect waste in water, plus to get rid of it on land. The small, easy and cheap to build Seehamster opened the way for Seekuh, its larger sibling.
Don’t let waste get into water at all
However successful one or the other clean-up operation for waste in oceans might be, not only One Earth – One Ocean have a very plain and strong message for humans worldwide:
Cleaning the oceans from plastic waste is one thing. It would be a lot easier if less plastic waste entered the oceans at all. Removing floating garbage is challenging but can be done, however, more important would be to not let rubbish get into any kind of water at all.