Using Trash To Keep Plastic Trash Out Of Oceans By Kabooming Them

For a few years now, [Richard] of Tropical Ocean Cleanup fame has been working hard to clean the Philippines of the plastic trash that litters everything, and washes down the canals and rivers into the ocean. Using nothing but what is essentially trash – old car tires, rope and empty soda bottles – he creates ‘kabooms’ that prevent this trash  floating in the canals from polluting the beaches, kill wildlife and gather in the oceans. In a recent video he covers how he creates these systems, and the basics of how they are installed.

We previously covered [Richard]’s efforts, and although these kabooms have received a few tweaks along the way, the basic principle has remained the same. The empty bottles provides the buoyancy, while the tires are excellent structural elements that can take a beating from the weather and debris. Some of the kabooms are lashed together with rope, while for other types holes are drilled into the tires using a hole saw, all of which help to create a self-supporting trash capture system that can be installed easily with a group of volunteers.

Fetching the thus captured trash is still a bit of a struggle, requiring a fair bit of manual labor, nets and boats from local fishermen when they have some spare time, but the effect is very much noticeable on the nearby beaches. In addition to these trash capturing kabooms, [Richard] also promotes trash collecting at schools, organizes trash pick-up events and trash collecting points, to raise local awareness of the need to keep plastic trash out of the environment and burn pits.

7 thoughts on “Using Trash To Keep Plastic Trash Out Of Oceans By Kabooming Them

    1. His efforts and results are really admirable, but his whole undertaking is one big bet: can he get the movement to form enough roots to thrive without him?
      It’s not just about avoiding to get bogged down by the sheer workload of maintaining the booms, but about sustainable scaling.
      So some of his videos aren’t exactly “fighting-age males give dirty beach a hard clean-up workout”, but just the coverage about him teaching environmentalism at local schools. There’s one school where pupils are also doing a bit of gardening. I hope he gets to see this generation grow up and take his work to the next level.

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