130225 river litter serious business march 2013

720 views

Published on

Published in: Technology, Lifestyle
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
720
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
140
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

130225 river litter serious business march 2013

  1. 1. River Litter: Serious Business Gijsbert Tweehuysen Waste Free Waters March 2013
  2. 2. How to approach the litter problem? • Recoverable products are recovered because they represent value for recycling companies (e.g. recovery of high value PET-bottles) • Waste products have lost almost all economic value (that is why they became waste!) and are only collected by subsidized organizations, when society does not accept the ecological consequences of dumping. • Finally end-users determine where they discard their used products: in the organized system or they litter. • The resulting ecological impact of litter is now a societal problem • 80% of marine litter comes from land and rivers play a significant contributing role in marine pollution The key question is: Do we regard river litter as a problem that we have to deal with???
  3. 3. Fundamental questions to answer: 1. How big is the (river) litter problem? (do we know the size and impact of the problem?) 2. How much litter pollution do we accept? (do we have agreements on standards or limits?) 3. Can we solve the problem? (what instruments or solutions do we have; technical, behavioural, economic, else ?) 4. Can we control the system? (can we design a closed-loop system for materials or products?)
  4. 4. We need a control loop Standard (legislation) sampling compare to standard take action River litter transportation evaluation litter entering the river litter flowing into the sea
  5. 5. 1 st step: sampling river litter Standard (legislation) sampling compare to standard take action River litter transportation evaluation litter entering the river litter flowing into the sea
  6. 6. Sampling river litter in the Meuse Research question: How much does a river contribute to the problem of “plastic soup”? A first samling attempt in oktober 2012: • The Meuse near Eijsden (BE-NL border) • The ship “de Blauwe Reiger” • The sampling equipment Oktober 2012: 5 initial trawls for testing the system and the sampling, sorting and reporting procedures.
  7. 7. The Meuse • A pluvial river, basin area: 36.000 km2 • Flows 925 km through France, Belgium and the Netherlands to the North Sea • Big variations in throughput in summer and winter • Canalized for a substantial part of it’s length • Sampling location: Eijsden (NL) Variations in throughput from 1990 – 2000 (m3/s)
  8. 8. The ship • Sufficient length (15 m) to sail in fast flowing river • Sufficient deck space for handling the equipment • Comfortable and stable for safe operation, also in winter
  9. 9. The sampling equipment 2 nets ( 3,2 mm): Surface net Width: 1 m Suspension net Opening: 0,5 m2 X speed: m/s X time: s = Sampled m2 Sampled m3 Sampling pontoon: Results: • Flexibels per m2 or m3 • Rigids per m2 or m3 • Total in upper part of the watercolumn (0 – 70 cm depth)
  10. 10. Sampling conditions date Throughput (m3/s) Wind direction Wind speed(m/s) Measuring time (hr) Measured distance to water (km) 10-10-2012 298 E 2.3 2:32 11,4 17-10-2012 125 S 4.7 3:07 14,1 24-10-2012 0 ENE 3.5 3:00 18,4 31-10-2012 113 S 4.6 1:07 7,4 31-10-2012 113 S 4.6 2:29 10,1
  11. 11. Sampling conditions • Mostly macroplastics, size > 3,2 mm • Sorting: – flexible and rigid – Surface and suspension – Large and small (larger or smaller than 25 mm) • Categorised with OSPAR list • Based on 5 trawls • Low throughput level of the river
  12. 12. Found concentration of items/km2 in upper part of the water column (0 – 70 cm) Items per km2 (surface and suspension together) 0 10.000 20.000 30.000 40.000 50.000 60.000 70.000 80.000 1 2 3 4 5 totaal flex rigid Suggests a relationship with throughput (298, 125, 0, 113, 113 m3/s) total flexible rigid 80.000 70.000 60.000 50.000 40.000 30.000 20.000 10.000 0
  13. 13. Items larger and smaller than 25 mm Number of items caught 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 surface suspension Large and small 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% surface suspension Majority of items (± 75%) are “small” macroplastics (between 3,2 mm and 25 mm) > 25 mm (large) < 25 mm rigid < 25 mm flex surface suspension surface suspension 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 100% 0% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%
  14. 14. Surface vs. Suspension Surface 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1 2 3 4 5 Suspension 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1 2 3 4 5 More rigids on the surface More flexibles in suspension rigid flexible 100% 0% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 100% 0% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%
  15. 15. Items surface vs. suspension per km2 0 10.000 20.000 30.000 40.000 50.000 60.000 70.000 Surface per km2 Suspension per km2/m3 totaal flex rigid More items on surface, most rigids Less items in suspension, most flexibles total flexible rigid 70.000 60.000 50.000 40.000 30.000 20.000 10.000 0 surface suspension
  16. 16. Number of items transported towards the sea Number of items per hour 0 5.000 10.000 15.000 20.000 25.000 30.000 35.000 1 2 3 4 5 • Average: 15.127 items/hr – Flexible: 6.079 items – Rigid: 9.049 items • Maximum: 30.387 items/hr – Flexible: 8.417 items – Rigid: 21.970 items • Conditions: – Water velocity: ± 3 km/hr – Width river: 150 m – Only top 70 cm total flexible rigid 10.000 35.000 30.000 25.000 20.000 15.000 5.000 0
  17. 17. 2nd step: evaluation of the results Standard (legislation) sampling compare to standard take action River litter transportation evaluation litter entering the river litter flowing into the sea
  18. 18. Evaluation question: What is the meaning of this number? Meuse transports approximately 15.000 items/hr at relatively low throughput rates. At sea: • North Pacific Gyre: > 300.000 floating items/km2 • North Atlantic and Caribbean: > 200.000 floating items/km2 • Mediterranean > 100.000 floating items/km2 • North Sea 528 items/km2 on the sea floor Which implies that it takes the Meuse, • less than 24 hrs to enlarge the North Pacific Gyre with 1 km2 • ca. 12 hrs to add 1 km2 to the North Atlantic garbage area • ca. 6 hrs to add 1 km2 to the Mediterranean garbage area
  19. 19. Question: Is this “much”??? • Yes, it is much, even in these relatively favourable conditions where the Meuse normally is considered to be “clean”. • Number of items expected to be higher when – Throughput increases – Right after floods – Later in the season • To get a more representative number: – Extra trawls needed during the season – In more different conditions
  20. 20. 3rd step: What do we think is acceptable? Standard (legislation) sampling compare to standard take action River litter transportation evaluation litter entering the river litter flowing in the sea
  21. 21. To take mitigating action… • Political processes must lead to legislation and standards to control the problem • We need a new balance between economy and ecology Economy or Ecology?
  22. 22. • There is no (numerical) definition of the allowed concentration of litter in the MSFD – Descriptor: Properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment. Marine Strategy Framework Directive
  23. 23. Water Framework Directive • There is not even a reference for river litter in the WFD, – possibly: “materials in suspension” • But directive 76/464/EEC list I mentions as polluting substance: – “persistent synthetic substances which may float, remain in suspension or sink and which may interfere with any use of the waters” • But they have never been labelled as priority substances “The substance-specific directives related to Directive 76/464/EEC are also widely known as ‘daughter’ Directives. However, the term ‘daughter’ directive is misleading because it suggests that these specific directives are based on another Directive, in this case 76/464/EEC. The specific directives for list I substances are separate, independent pieces of legislation based on the Treaty. There is no hierarchy between directives. In consequence, the repeal of Directive 76/464/EEC under the Water Framework Directive does not affect or change the provisions of the specific directives. They remain entirely into force. In conclusion, we suggest not to use the term ‘daughter’ directives but rather 'specific' directives for list I substances to avoid misinterpretations.” • This means that local autorities today have no instruments to take action on river litter
  24. 24. 4 th step: Take action Standard (legislation) sampling compare to standard take action River litter transportation evaluation litter entering the river litter flowing into the sea
  25. 25. It’s all about rest value: Added Value minus Lost Value products in use post-use products physical products sorted materials end products sorted products raw materials recovered resources Sustainable resources depletable resources waste re-use recycling recovery discard LOSTVALUE ADDEDVALUE economical framework ecological framework
  26. 26. Possible actions: recovery Standard (legislation) sampling compare to standard take action River litter transportation evaluation litter entering the river litter flowing into the sea Recovery
  27. 27. Recovery of products with highest rest value Only waste with high rest value will be recovered and recycled for profit reasons
  28. 28. Recovery of clean products with lower rest value Plastic Heroes: additional funding required from packaging chain restrictions…
  29. 29. Possible actions: cleaning Standard (legislation) sampling compare to standard take action River litter transportation evaluation litter entering the river litter flowing into the sea Cleaning
  30. 30. Recovery of products with the lowest rest value is a volunteers’ job! the real (!) “Plastic Hero”
  31. 31. The problem: This litter has lost almost all of its value! Just the calorific value can be used
  32. 32. The most promising approach for river litter is aimed at it’s sources River litter sources: 1. Fly-tipping and illegal dumping in the flood plain 2. Run-off from streets and roadsides in the catchment area 3. Sewage overflows to rivers and tributaries 4. Industrial spills (pellets and scrap)
  33. 33. But, research on recovery and cleaning possibilities is necessary We need to understand the problem better, find the sources and the most efficient interceptions
  34. 34. Conclusions • The developed river litter sampling method can be used, since significant amounts of river litter have been found, but further scientific research is needed • The Meuse transports an abundance of macroplastics, rigids mainly at the surface and flexibles mostly in suspension • European legislation is critical, otherwise there is no sense of urgency at local level • Collection and recovery solutions for low value waste products must be developed including appropriate funding systems • Findings for the Meuse should be extended with research findings in other rivers. • Funding for further research is needed
  35. 35. Contact: Waste Free Waters Ir. Gijsbert Tweehuysen Luiperbeekstraat 23 6343 PT Klimmen The Netherlands E-mail: g.tweehuysen@hotmail.com Phone: +31 (0) 653 693 382 Blog: www.wastefreewaters.wordpress.com

×