‘The Manta’ Sailing Yacht is Designed to Feed on Plastic Waste for Power–While Cleaning Oceans


A professional yacht racer, annoyed by the constant sightings of floating mats of plastic garbage in the seawater, has created an ocean cleaning sailboat that is powered by the waste it collects. The 56-meter (184 feet) Manta is the first offering from racer Yves Bourgnon’s SeaCleaners Project, and would be one of the largest waste-collecting vessels on the seas, according to Reuters. At the end of the film Back to the Future, Dr. Emmet Brown has famously managed to replace his plutonium-powered generator with one which uses ordinary garbage. Like the DeLorean in the movie, the Manta uses garbage to power an electric motor that works in conjunction with the sails to propel the large catamaran. In between the three pontoons, conveyor belts scoop up trash as small as 10 millimeters, over which the Manta glides, while three trawl nets drifting behind (to a depth of 1 meter, thereby avoiding sea life) add to the onboard collection. This trash is then fed into a processing machine where crewmen sort it before moving it into an incinerator that melts the plastic and uses the gases in a turbine to power the electric motor.

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