Ridding our Rivers of Plastic: A framework for plastic pollution capture device selection
Rivers are a major pathway for the transport of plastics into the ocean. Plastic pollution capture devices offer one way to reduce the accumulation of plastic in the environment. This paper provides a framework for selecting a device to reduce plastic pollution in freshwater, synthesizing information of forty prevailing plastic pollution capture devices. We distinguish three major components of plastic pollution technology (booms, receptacles, and watercraft vehicles) and collect details on each technology including its features, limitations, efficiency, reported costs, and maintenance requirements. A framework is developed to aid in device selection by water and waste managers, which highlights the need for a watershed assessment, an understanding of site conditions, the attainment of community buy-in, and a long-term maintenance plan. While plastic pollution capture devices can help reduce the flux of plastic waste from freshwater, management of plastic waste at the source is also needed to ultimately clean our oceans and waterways.
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