Having steadily increased with global production in the past fifty years, the presence and accumulation of plastic debris is nowadays recognized as a major environmental problem, with consequences directly affecting not only nature and biodiversity, but also society and human well-being.
In response, CLAIM will target the prevention and in-situ management of both visible and invisible marine litter, through the development of both new technologies and redefined methodological approaches to innovate the ways in which we clean our seas.
The project will power 5 innovative marine cleaning technologies, will prevent litter from entering the sea at two main source points: wastewater treatment plants and river mouths. Right after an effective pre-filtering system has sorted and collected litter, a photocatalytic nanocoating device will degrade microplastics in wastewater treatment plants. Mounted on ships a small-scale thermal treatment device (pyrolizer) will be used to turn collected litter intro energy powering ships and heating up ports. At river mouths, innovative floating boom will collect and monitor visible litter, while a CLAIM network of FerryBox systems will operate on ships in the Baltic, West & East Mediterranean mounted with an automated seawater sampling device & passive flow-through filtering system.
From a scientific point of view, CLAIM will develop innovative modeling tools to assess and create informative maps about visible and invisible marine plastic pollution at basin and regional scales (Saronikos Gulf, Gulf of Lyon, Ligurian Sea and Belt Sea).
An ecosystems approach will guide the project through the evaluation of the potential benefit from proposed litter cleaning methods to ecosystem services and human well-being. New business models will enhance the economic feasibility for upscaling the innovative cleaning technologies, taking into account the existing legal and policy frameworks in the CLAIM countries, as well as acceptance of the new technologies by their end-users and relevant stakeholders.
The data and information produced will be made available to policymakers, stakeholders and end-users in a user- friendly format and tailored to each stakeholder group. At the same time, CLAIM will work towards raising public awareness, promoting healthy oceans and seas, freed of litter and pollutants.