2019 | Netherlands | Lucas Timmerman, Thomas Velders

Eliminating microplastics from bodies of water by using an innovative system

Water issue adressed: Too dirty

It is reasonably certain that microplastics are the most dangerous pollutants of plastic for aquatic organisms and humans. Thus far, there is not yet a large-scale system in place to eliminate microplastics from major bodies of water. In this report, we describe different developmental phases of one such design and suggest possible applications. It is named ‘The Banana’ and takes its name from its distinctive shape. The front of the Banana is equipped with a wall which redirects larger litter, stopping it from entering the Banana itself and preventing it from clogging. The remaining litter, carried by the flow of water, will follow the net of the Banana and flow through the storage containers. Valves in the storage containers prevent the water from flowing back. Attached to the storage container is a storage bag that collects the microplastics. These bags can easily be exchanged for new bags while emptying the Banana. This system has been tested and operated as desired, eliminating microplastics. The system can be used in all kinds of circumstances for example in front of a weir or in the plastic litter trap from Recycled Island Foundation.

This is how I came up with the idea for this project:

Existing solutions for catching plastics don’t catch the smaller plastics, microplastics. After some research, we found out that these plastics were even more harmful than the larger plastics. After that, we were determined to create a solution to filter the microplastics out of our rivers.


Ania Andersch

Programme manager ania.andersch@siwi.org +46 8 121 360 59