News - November 24, 2020

The Solar Impulse Foundation sets sail with Plastic Odyssey to find new solutions to plastic pollution

Plastic Odyssey’s expedition

Written by Tristan Lebleu 3 min read

The Solar Impulse Foundation team will take part in Plastic Odyssey’s expedition to discover new solutions to reduce plastic pollution, which will set sail in 2021.

The 1000 solutions challenge of the Solar Impulse Foundation

Launched by the explorer Bertrand Piccard, who accomplished the first solar-powered solar flight, the Solar Impulse Foundation's goal is to select and promote 1000 solutions to protect the environment in a profitable way. 

Since May 2018, it has thus launched the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, which has already been awarded to more than 800 innovations. In order to reach out to new solution providers around the world, the Solar Impulse Foundation is partnering with Plastic Odyssey, the first research vessel for the reduction and recovery of plastic.

"You think there is nothing left to explore on this Planet? It's true that there are few unknown territories left. But there are still many solutions to be discovered to protect the environment. This is the objective of the Solar Impulse Foundation with its challenge of 1000 solutions and I am very happy to set sail with Plastic Odyssey to find even more" says Bertrand Piccard, Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation.

The Plastic Odyssey expedition

The objective of the Plastic Odyssey expedition is to find, develop and disseminate solutions for the recovery of plastic waste where the lack of treatment systems is at the origin of ocean pollution.

Starting next year, the Plastic Odyssey research vessel will set sail with recycling machines on board to sort, crush, wash, melt or even transform plastic waste into fuel and create local value from an unfortunately almost unlimited resource.

The entire forward section of this vessel will be dedicated to solutions to reduce plastic production. This area, named “Build the Future”, will allow solutions to be tested at the scale of the ship and its 20 crew members around the world and then replicated in onshore facilities (hotels, restaurants or businesses).

One of these onboard solutions is already certified by the Solar Impulse Foundation: unYo. This machine, developed by INOVAYA, makes the ship's water drinkable so that it does not have to carry any plastic bottles on board. 

A shared quest for new solutions

Unknown solutions are hiding all over the planet, wherever the craziest inventors have given birth to them. And to find them, the Foundation gets onboard the Plastic Odyssey.

To discover these new solutions, the crew will invite the Solar Impulse Foundation's team to go to certain stopover cities to select the best innovations. Thus, juries will be organized directly on board the 40-meter research ship on the three continents targeted by the expedition: Africa, Latin America and Asia.

In addition to sharing the ship to discover new innovations, the Solar Impulse Foundation has launched a call for projects within its community of labeled solutions to enable them to participate in the reconstruction work currently taking place in France. The crew is looking for solutions in the areas of alternative materials for the ship, onboard energy management and consumption, and waste treatment.

Learn more about Plastic Odyssey

Written by Tristan Lebleu on November 24, 2020

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