The Audi Environmental Foundation supports Aachen-based green start-up everwave’s clean-up project for the third time. Since May, a high-tech garbage collection boat has fished up to 28,000 kg of waste from Bangkok's Chao Phraya River

Together with the Ferry Porsche Foundation, the Audi Environmental Foundation is supporting the green start-up company everwave to rid the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok of plastic waste. Since May, a high-tech garbage boat from Germany has been removing waste from the river - up to five tons a day under ideal conditions. In cooperation with the local non-governmental organization (NGO) TerraCycle Thai Foundation, the project partners aim to establish a stable infrastructure for waste processing in the region around the Thai capital Bangkok in the medium term.

This is the third time the Audi Environmental Foundation has joined the green start-up everwave in a clean-up project to combat plastic garbage in rivers together. The aim of the current project is to fish as much plastic as possible from the Chao Phraya in Bangkok. The river, which flows into the Gulf of Thailand 35 kilometers west of the capital, flushes around 385 tons of plastic garbage into the ocean every year. The starting phase of garbage collection project was initially scheduled to run for five months.

The project itself is designed to be more long-term than previous collaborations. With this initiative, the project partners want to draw attention to the fact that rivers act as “plastic highways”, meaning that carelessly discarded litter finds its way into the water before being swept out to the open sea.

“We believe leveraging high-tech for a cleaner environment is very promising. This approach has already been confirmed through previous collaborations,” says Rüdiger Recknagel, Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation.“With World Cleanup Day taking place on September 16, 2023, it is even more important to us to raise awareness of this successful project. With the help of technical solutions we’re calling Greenovation, we can be faster and more efficient today than we thought possible years ago."

“A lot of the plastic in the Chao Phraya comes from open landfills in the region,” says everwave CEO Clemens Feigl. “So, it’s not enough to just fish the garbage from the river. We need to address the root causes. That’s why our cooperation with the TerraCycle Thai Foundation is so important and why we are working with our local partner on a sustainable system for recycling garbage. We are supporting facilities for sorting and recycling. And in the long term, we want to establish collection points and containers too.”

The project partners from Germany prioritize local cooperation to ensure a sustainable impact in the region. Two Thai boatmen have been hired to work on the CollectiX boat, and two more are being trained. For the local NGOs, cooperation with the German initiative means increased efficiency. Before the boat worked in the water, members of the TerraCycle Thai Foundation collected garbage from the river by hand or with fishing nets.

Collaboration is also critical for future steps. “The attention that the boat attracts on the river can be used to interest other strong partners and win them for the project,” says Inga Hilbig, Head of Marketing at everwave. In the long term, future partners could establish sustainable structures for waste avoidance and recycling. “If it goes well, the Chao Phraya could be trash-free in ten to twenty years.”

Source: Audi

Tags: Audi
Евгений Ушаков
Evgenii Ushakov
15 years driving