United Nations
Concept Design of Robotic Solar Powered Barges to Filter and Remove Oceanic Plastic
by OceanicPlasticRecovery.com (Private sector)
A realistic and feasible solution to clean up the trillions of pieces of plastic garbage now building in massive Ocean Gyres around the World.

Envisage a fleet of Solar Robotic Barges (SRBs) perpetually sailing between Oceanic Plastic Garbage Gyres and processing ports established as close as possible.

The SRBs are guided by a combination of AI, auto-pilot, anti-collision radar, satellite imagery and remote control and monitoring.

The SRBs are fitted with cameras, lasers and other sensor telemetry that is connected to its AI computer and can all be monitored by Central Control.

They know where the heaviest concentrations of Plastic Trash are floating at any given time from Satellite Imagery.

As a SRB approaches the Plastic Trash, it lowers its filtering Barge Tray below the water line, angling it into the Gyre so the trash can be scooped directly into the Barge Tray.
The SRB powers through the trash gyre, the filters on the Barge Tray allowing water and small fish to pass through, and slowly raises the Barge Tray as it fills so the trash loads evenly accross the Barge Tray, until it is full.

Once the SRB is full it raises its Barge Tray and heads for its designated processing port.

Upon arrival at the port, the SRB enters a sleuth gate that closes behind it. It lowers its Barge Tray fully below water level causing all the Plastic Trash to float out of the Tray, unloading the SRB.

Pumps cycle the water inside the sleuth gates to shift Plastic Garbage to the collection point, and the SRB leaves the port for its next journey to the Trash Gyre.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse
  • Management of ship-based pollution and/or port waste management
  • A global fleet of 500 SRBs is estimated to reverse global growth of plastic gyres and reduce to 50% by 2028.
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • The SRB fleet is a green platform spanning the globe capable of ongoing and comprehensive water quality and plastic density monitoring.
First voyage
Funding to build prototype
Build prototype
Financing (in USD)
70,000 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
Concept Design IP
Staff / Technical expertise
Design, construction and operation of Solar Powered Marine Vessels spanning 12 years
Staff / Technical expertise
Solar Expertise and invention spanning 40 years
Basic information
Time-frame: 04/2018 - 01/2020
Private and personally funded to date.
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
All Countries, all Oceans, all Oceanic Life, Fisheries, Tourism
Contact information
Wolfgang Flatow, Concept Designer, wolfgang@oceanicplasticrecovery.com, +61 0409 309 901
Conondale, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Other SDGs
United Nations