The Interceptor is a river going vessel that extracts river debris autonomously using river currents and a conveyer belt system. 

TARGET USERS: Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: The Interceptor currently has two vessels in operation, but seek local partners to reach the goal of tackling plastic in the 1000 most polluting rivers by 2025.


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    Rivers feed ocean plastic pollution; they are the arteries that carry waste from land to the ocean. The Ocean Cleanup found that 1000 rivers are responsible for roughly 80% of the pollution. To rid the oceans of plastic, we need to not only clean up what is already out there, but also stop new plastic from entering the ocean.



    The Interceptor is The Ocean Cleanup’s answer for river plastic waste. A solar-powered river going vessel, The Interceptor extracts plastic autonomously, and is capable of operating in the majority of the world’s most polluting rivers.

    Here’s how it works: 

    1. River waste flowing with the current is guided by the barrier towards the opening of the Interceptor. Thanks to the Interceptor’s catamaran design, the water flow path is optimized to pass through the system, carrying the plastic onto the conveyor belt.
    2. The current moves the debris onto a conveyor belt, which continuously extracts the debris from the water and delivers the waste to the shuttle.
    3. A shuttle automatically distributes the debris across six dumpsters. Using sensor data, the containers are filled equally until they reach full capacity.
    4. The Interceptor can store up to 50m³ of trash before needing to be emptied. This means it’s capable of operating even in the most polluted rivers all over the world.
    5. When the interceptor is almost full, it automatically sends a text message to the local operators to come and collect the waste. Operators then remove the barge, bring it to the side of the river, empty the dumpsters, send off the debris to local waste management facilities, and return the barge back into the Interceptor.

    The Interceptor can extract 50,000 kilograms of plastic per day.



    Other solutions tasked with collecting plastic waste debris from waterways include The Shoreliner, Storm X Trap, River Watch and the Seabin, among others.




    Jakarta, Indonesia

    The very first Interceptor, our prototype, is currently deployed in the Cengkareng Drain in Jakarta. The Ocean Cleanup met with members of the government of Indonesia for the first time in 2016. Jakarta was chosen as the starting place since DKI Jakarta already conducted cleanup operations in rivers here.



    Klang, Selangor, Malaysia

    The Klang River runs through Kuala Lumpur. According to our research, the Klang River is one of the 50 most polluting rivers worldwide.

    The local government recognized the Interceptor as a welcome addition to their own cleanup efforts, using barriers in the river to stop the plastic flow to the ocean. The Interceptor helps to improve the cleanup efficiency, making for quicker and more scalable cleanup. The intention is to deploy more cleanup systems throughout Malaysia.

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