River recycle and Clean Planet Energy recently announced that they have entered into a partnership agreement to support global efforts of removing non-recyclable plastics from rivers and the environment in Southeast Asia, and then re-purposing the waste as new ultra-clean fuels. The focus of the partnership begins in Indonesia and the Philippines.
River recycle, headquartered in Helsinki, installs waste management systems on the shores of the most polluted rivers, enabling the collection of plastic waste and floating debris, by creating a local circular economy. Clean Planet Energy, headquartered in the UK, builds and operates eco Plants, environmentally-friendly facilities which can convert non-recyclable plastic waste (such as that collected by River recycle) into circular products, which can act as fossil fuels replacements.
With local offices already operating in 7 countries, including Indonesia and the Philippines, Riverrecycle has recently been awarded funding from the ICTSI Foundation to support the removal of discarded plastics along the river Pasig in Manila. This work already underway, among expanded efforts, will be complemented by the partnership with Clean Planet Energy, whose ultra-clean fuels made from the waste-plastics can reduce CO2e emissions by 75% compared to fossil fuels.
At least 8 million tonnes of plastics end up in our oceans every year, which now makes up 80% of all marine debris (from surface waters to deep-sea sediments). Studies over the last 10 years have identified rivers as a major pathway for plastic pollution entering the Oceans, with around 80% of ocean plastic having traveled there via land. According to a report published in National Geographic this year, of the most polluting 50 rivers, 44 are in Asia or Southeast Asia.
“With our focus in Southeast Asia, River recycle takes action by closing the loop on plastic waste in the most affected areas close to rivers. To generate a perfect circular economy, we must create a waste management system that supports local municipalities to manage plastic waste, and from that waste reintroduce the recovered material back into the economy; this latter part is where we’re excited to work with our partners at Clean Planet Energy,” said Anssi Mikola, CEO of River Recycle.
“We are in a global plastic and carbon crisis, and no one company, group, individual or foundation can solve it alone,” added Bertie Stephens, Clean Planet Energy’s CEO. “Both River recycle and Clean Planet Energy hold advanced and complementary technologies which together can help reduce these problems. River recycle’s technology will remove difficult plastics from the environment which would otherwise end up in our oceans, and by delivering this to our eco plants we can convert these plastics into ultra-clean fuels that can replace dirty fossil fuels in transport vessels (such as planes and ships) that have no other alternative means of power. To beat this crisis, you need technologies to unite, and this partnership is a perfect example of such synergy.”