Innovation!
Now that we got your attention: Welcome to this blogpost about a sustainable solution to free our beaches from microplastics.

Innovation. This is the buzzword we have been using since the start of our Global Pioneers program. But what exactly is innovation? To some people ‘innovation’ simply means inventing something new. Other people are referring to innovation as the targeted change process towards a first-time invention. We think that the term ‘innovation’ mainly refers to the process mentioned above that leads to the establishment of new ideas and technologies. One prime example of innovation is the Hoola One Project (not to be mistaken with the toy hoop “Hula Hoop”), created by sustainable pioneers that we are going to present you now.

The waste on Kamilo Beach

The Kamilo Beach in Hawaii, like many others, is trashed with plastics and other waste. The problem is not a new one, as we have already shed light on this issue. Students of the Canadian University Sherbrooke in Quebec have developed an unusual machine that helps cleaning the beaches of Hawaii. While the bigger plastic pieces can be collected by hand it is nearly impossible to collect the microplastic pieces that are also trashing the beach. Hoola One and its’ sustainable inventors promises to solve this issue and here is how they want to do it:

To target this problem the team developed a vacuum like machine that is placed on a trailer to transport it to the beach. The mobility of the machine is a key perk, making it transportable to other places than just Kamilo Beach. Once it is brought to the beach, it unrolls a long tube. The machine then works like a vacuum and sucks in sand and all the debris particles in it that are too small to get picked up by hand. All the debris is sucked up in to a big water tank where the sand is floating to the bottom whereas the plastic particles are hovering on the water surface. The water including the debris is afterwards carried into a big box. In a next step the water is drained and the plastic debris is left in the box. The waste can then be collected and be separated to an additional container for recycling purposes. Here is the scheme of the vehicle:

Resilient prototype

The project was financed through crowdfunding. People gifted 50.000$ so the students could build a prototype. And this prototype is pretty effective: In a test run the machine was able to clean up to 11 liter of sand, which is nearly 17 kg, per minute! The next goal of Hoola One is to develop a smaller machine and send it to mass production. Meanwhile the prototype has been donated to the community.

This is the best example of having rather unusual ideas coming to life. It needs a lot of dedication and also support to implement an idea. We from Global Pioneers want to give sustainable pioneers the guidance they need on their way of creating a sustainable solution for the pressing waste problems of our time. If you think that you are a sustainable pioneer as well, we want to encourage you to get in contact with us! As we have said in our other posts we are always happy to hear from you and your idea. So don’t waste your time and be a Global Pioneer!