The world’s largest solar-powered catamaran arrived Tuesday in Puerto Princesa carrying its global campaign to raise awareness on the dangers of plastic pollution to the marine environment.
Developed by the international group Race for Water Foundation (RFW), the vessel runs purely on a combination of solar energy and hydrogen technology, and wind.
The “Race for Water” Odyssey has been roaming the world from 2017 to 2021.
This 100-metric-ton boat is pulled by the wind using a kite’s 40 m2 wing.
The boat runs with a speed of four to eight knots as the kite wing is deployed at the altitude of 150 meters.
On the other hand, the water is converted to hydrogen through “electrolysis” and another process afterward that convert it into electricity.
The boat has a 512 m2 of solar panels providing electricity that powers the boat.
The solar energy is stored in 7.5 tons of Lithium-ion batteries.
This second five-year expedition from 2017-2021 is aimed at promoting a local solution to a global problem of increasing plastic waste in our oceans for all its 36 stopovers.
Annabelle Boudinot, second captain of the Race for Water Odyssey, said they are targeting the local government, most especially the young people, and the general public as a whole, raising their awareness of the current problem on plastics.
The “Race for Water” foundation encouraged the public Thursday to follow some mitigating measures that could minimize their plastic wastes, especially the single-use plastics.
In a press conference Thursday, Boudinot said it is important for the people to be aware on how they are able to take part in fighting the problem of increasing plastics in the ocean.
“Single-use plastic is about 80 percent of the plastics that get into the ocean. When we get rid of the single-use plastics, we get rid of most of the problem,” said Boudinot.
The team also proposed a local solution to this global problem” by presenting a machine which turns plastic waste into electric energy called the “Biogreen”.
Boudinot shared 5Rs everyone may apply in their daily lives namely the “refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle” methods. Boudinot said the average use of a single-use plastic lasts only for 20 minutes and takes 100 years to disappear or decompose.
She said the public must start refusing plastic straws, cups, and bottles by using their own tumblers for example.
She noted there are many daily opportunities the people can lessen or reduce their use of plastics amidst this world of consumerism.
“We are in the world where we are taught into consuming, and sometimes it is important to think that maybe we need not so much of all these products,’’ said Boudinot.
Boudinot also said it is necessary to reuse a plastic instead of just throwing it away immediately after use. On the other hand, Boudinot said that instead of buying new pair of sunglasses, the owner could repair it using wood.
“We all know that we need to change. Today we just create a product, buy it, use it, and put it in the trash. We need to change this way of thinking: we need to go circular. That means create the product, use it, and then when we are done using it needs to come back to the beginning and create another product again,” said Boudinot.