Stemming the tide
The Audi Environmental Foundation and its partners take on the problem of waterborne rubbish.
The Audi Environmental Foundation and its co-collaborators continue the fight against a seemingly endless tide of waste in Europe’s rivers.
19 May, 2022
This specialist vessel uses sensors to collect and assess data based on the amount, type, and composition of the garbage recovered
It’s a global problem, but like most issues of excess waste and carelessly discarded garbage, can best be dealt with at a local level. Like waterways all over the world, Europe’s rivers are suffering from a seemingly endless amount of discarded plastics and general refuse, so in an ongoing partnership, the Audi Environmental Foundation along with green startup everwave and German cosmetics manufacturer Babor Beauty Group are working to collect and properly dispose of the floating rubbish.
This initiative was instigated last year, and though the problem at first glance seems almost too enormous to contemplate, it works on the principal of every bit helps. This year, the existing partners were joined by the Ferry Porsche Foundation – a charitable foundation that takes its name from comes from Ferry Porsche, who founded the Porsche sports car company in 1948.
Together, these four entitles used one of everwave’s garbage collection boat, Collectix over a five week period to clear the Olt River around the city of Făgăraș in Romania. Everwave’s collection boats utilise artificial technology and, along with a dedicated team of scientists and mechanical engineers, are used to rid rivers around the globe of waste – actively seeking global partners to continue the important work on an ever-expanding scale.
This specialist vessel uses sensors to collect and assess data based on the amount, type, and composition of garbage, and over just an eight day period, was able to collect around 40 boatloads of garbage made up in this case mainly of plastic bottles, bags and construction materials.
“This garbage is a danger to animals, humans and nature. It decomposes slowly over time before finding its way into our oceans as microplastics. By deploying our technologies on rivers, we are stopping the problem right at its root,”” says Tilman Flöhr, CTO (Chief Technical Officer) at everwave.
In addition to collecting and disposing of the rubbish, the project also seeks to educate people on how best to avoid this problem in the future, promoting ways of recycling and dealing with waste responsibly.
“Raising awareness and the further development of new technologies for environmental protection are what drives us,” says Rüdiger Recknagel, Managing Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation. “If everyone acts responsibly, a lot of problems will be recognised and prevented at an early stage. That’s why we’re banking on information and education and we're doing it every day of the year. For us, every day is Earth Day”.
Audi’s commitment to recycling extends well past the reuse of materials – including plastics – and with the Audi Environmental Foundation has long worked to combat the problem in its markets around the globe.
In Australia, what seemed like a a remarkably simple idea to combat waste in waterways, continues to grow and deliver results all over the world.
Called the Seabin project, this device which, as the name suggests, is a floating bin, was recognised in 2018 with the Audi and GQ Innovation award, which was presented to inventors Pete Ceglinksi and Andrew Turton. Their invention continues to deliver real results in the ongoing battle with waterborne waste in its native Australia and is part of an ambitious project to cleanup 100 cities by 2050.
In Australia, what seemed like a a remarkably simple idea to combat waste in waterways, continues to grow and deliver results all over the world
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