Remember This Boat Invention That Cleans Up The Klang River? Now Bangkok Has Its First One

It's called the Interceptor 019.

Cover image via @BoyanSlat (X) & @TheOceanCleanup (X)

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The Ocean Cleanup has just deployed its first Interceptor in Bangkok, Thailand

Its founder, Boyan Slat, proudly launched the Interceptor 019 with partners to combat plastic pollution in the Chao Phraya river, a major waterway that flows through Bangkok.

"Once fully operational, Interceptor 019 will be removing trash and helping us learn more about how this plastic enters the river — ready for more Interceptor deployments across the city," stated the non-profit organisation in a tweet on 20 February.

This Interceptor joins several others already deployed worldwide, with two currently active in cleaning the Klang River

If you're not familiar with The Ocean Cleanup, it's an organisation that invented an amazing boat system, which catches plastic and debris polluting rivers before it reaches the ocean.

The Interceptor's goal is to clean up 1,000 of the world's most polluted rivers by 2025. This effort is crucial because, according to the organisation, the highly polluted rivers are responsible for about 80% of ocean plastic pollution.

Each Interceptor can remove up to 100,000kg of plastic and trash a day!

Here's how it works:

Debris collected from the river flows into the boat's system, while still allowing other vessels to pass by.

A barrier then guides waste into the mouth of the Interceptor, where a conveyor belt extracts the debris from the water and transfers it to a shuttle.

The shuttle automatically knows when to distribute the waste into six containers on the boat. Once the containers are full, local operators will be notified.

The collected debris is brought back to shore for recycling or conversion into valuable products that will not re-enter the environment. The emptied containers are then reattached to the Interceptor for further collection.

The Ocean Cleanup has since developed a "family of Interceptor solutions" to address different river conditions and needs

An Interceptor Barrier in Kingston Harbour, Jamaica.

Image via The Ocean Cleanup

Here's a breakdown of all the Interceptor models:

  • Interceptor Original - the pioneering technology for river cleanup. It's a high-tech solution equipped with solar-powered mechanics, smart processing capabilities, and connectivity for effortless performance tracking.
  • Interceptor Barrier - a solution that consists of a standalone floating barrier anchored in a U-shape around the mouth of a small river.
  • Interceptor Tender - a small powered barge developed to work alongside Interceptor Barriers. It uses a conveyor belt to scoop up the trash from a barrier and offload it into a dumpster onshore.
  • Interceptor Barricade - installed for testing in the Rio Las Vacas, Guatemala, in late May 2023 to halt the yearly tsunamis of trash that flood down the river during the rainy season.
  • Interceptor Guard - specifically suited for shallow waters, as it can beach without structural impact.
Learn more about The Ocean Cleanup here.

One of the Interceptors in Klang previously caught an unexpected item:

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