MOL tests microplastic collection device on a newbuilding vessel

Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has carried out a demonstration test of a microplastic collection device, jointly developed with compatriot boiler manufacturer Miura Co.

The device has been installed on a newbuilding wood chip carrier and tested at the end of October.

The microplastic collection device is activated during operation of the ballast water treatment system, with the assumption that collection takes place during cargo handling operations.

Microplastics collection device
Microplastics collection device; Image courtesy: MOL

Using a filter with a backwashing function, which constitutes the ballast water treatment system, the device collects microplastics trapped in the filter right before the treated water is discharged overboard.

MOL claims to be the world’s first operator to install and demonstrate the microplastic collective device on a merchant vessel.

“The project team continues to improve the device and is examining ways to make it easier for crewmembers to use and increase microplastic collection capacity,” the company said.

MOL joined a project related to marine plastic pollution in July 2019 by taking part in a survey led by the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and it also took part in the “Plastic Smart” forum hosted by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment.

Marine plastic pollution is a global-scale environmental issue, raising serious concerns about its impact on marine ecosystems

Marine plastic waste, generated every day all over the world, remains in the sea for an extended period of time, causing grave concerns about global-scale of environmental pollution.