SEADS – Cleaning our Oceans One River at a Time
Reportage by Claudia Greco\AGF\UIG
Installing barriers in the world’s ten most polluted rivers to prevent them from transporting plastic waste to the oceans is the ambitious idea of SEADS, an Italian start-up that is already struggling to position the first barriers in the Ciliwung river, in Jakarta, Indonesia. Fabio Dalmonte, the creator of the project, explains that almost 80% of the plastic that ends up in the seas gets transported there by only ten rivers, the ten most polluted rivers in the world: Yangtze, Nile, Ganges, Indus, Yellow River, Hai he, the Pearl River, Amur, Niger and Mekong. And it is precisely on these rivers, which represent the main source of ocean plastic pollution, that SEADS (Sea Defense Solutions) wants to act. Dalmonte, from Romagna, studied engineering management in Bologna, before specializing in corporate citizenship and working for years on Barilla's sustainability strategies. While pursuing a master's degree in waste management at the University of West Scotland, during a period spent in Jakarta in collaboration with the University of Indonesia, his idea for SEADS was born. Dalmonte’s ambitious plan includes creating barriers to collect and start recycling almost 100% of the plastic materials carried by the current of the rivers, blocking them at the origin before they are dispersed in the sea. The barriers designed are floating, rigid and strong enough to be considered a definitive solution, which can therefore withstand any changes to river conditions and large objects carried by currents, such as trees. The barriers are built with recycled plastic, meaning SEADS are using plastic to prevent plastics pollution of the Earth’s oceans!