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Problems With Debris and Plastic Trash

Marine Debris can consist of household garbage, food containers, wood and logs, trees, sewage, oil, aquatic vegetation and dead fish, but a significant portion of the pollution will be from commercial and industrial operations. Whilst fishing gear, ship's cargo, oil and other marine waste are possible ocean sources, most marine debris comes from land-based sources, either through storm outlets, fly-tipping or discarded litter. Most of this trash is made of non-degradable plastics such as bottles, carrier bags, food and household containers and poses a significant threat to our marine environment.  Ultimately, these items end up as micro-plastics and contaminate our fish stocks and food chain.

Water Witch offer a proven and efficient system of recovering all types of plastic trash and marine debris with over 150 vessels working globally, helping to provide a safer environment for marine wildlife.

In addition to plastics, marine debris can also consist of natural items such as alg of tree branches, leaf litter, reeds and other natural debris, including algae, seaweed and aquatic vegetation.


Not only unsightly, this debris is a potential hazard to boaters and waterway users - water intakes can be clogged up, propellers snagged and hulls damaged.

Floating rubbish, debris, flotsam and jetsam is unappealing, a potential health hazard and can influence the public's decision to live in, or visit, an area; it can have a major economic impact on the future of waterside developments. CLEAN WATER & WELL-MANAGED WATERSPACE is an essential requirement for large-scale regeneration of these areas.

Problems with Plastics

Synthetic materials such as plastic are now the most common types of marine debris. Plastic persists in the water and doesn't readily degrade. Through weathering and mechanical action, plastic is broken into small particles that marine wildlife easily ingests. This process can take decades, so the amount of plastics, oftern referred to as micro-pollutants, are building up progressively in our marine environment, whilst the amount of plastic entering our seas is growing year on year.

An estimated 100 million tons of it already litters the oceans of the world. Another 60 billion tons of plastics will be produced globally this year alone. A particularly dense accumulation of debris can be found in a holding pattern 1,000 miles off the California coast, in an area known as the central North Pacific gyre, the calm core of a convergence of four major ocean currents rotating clockwise under a large high-pressure zone.

The buildup of plastics in the North Pacific is estimated to span 5 million square miles (equivalent of the area of the United States). Some of the debris is apparent and recognizable -- water bottles, lighters, toothbrushes, coffee cups, straws - but over time, these objects break down into smaller and smaller plastic pieces until they become particulate and small enough to be ingested by fish and filter feeders. The larger pieces are mistakenly eaten by seabirds birds, turtles and whales as recently highlighted by BBC's Blue Planet series.

Cardiff Bay, UK, a single Water Witch recovered a total of 850 tonnes of debris from the waters in a single year. An average of 10 skip-loads of waste was removed a week, ranging from logs, telegraph poles, cars, trolleys, car tyres, plastic bottles and general litter.

About 80% of the plastic debris in the oceans gets there from land. It washes from our beaches and streets and highways, through storm drains and sanitary discharge and into streams, rivers and waterways ? an ultimately into the ocean.

Water Witch can provide an efficient solution for the recovery of all types of plastics and marine debris through a range of specialist workboats.