(BIVN) – The Hoʻōla One prototype plastic-debris-removal machine was on display along the Hilo Bay recently.
“After another successful 3-day beach cleanup session with the Hoʻōla One prototype in the Kaʻū Forest Reserve (Wai’ōhinu coastline) we have decided to bring this innovative microplastic-debris-removal machine for a demonstration along the Hilo Bayfront with cooperation of the County of Hawaiʻi,” wrote Megan Lamson in an email before the August 24 demonstration event.
The Hoʻōla One contraption was shipped all the way from Canada to Hawai‘i “to test its ability to literally suck small bits of plastic, known as micro-plastics, from the coastal sands at Kamilo,” reported the Hawaiʻi Department f Land and Natural Resources earlier this year. “Developed as a class project by twelve mechanical engineering students at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, it’s hoped the giant vacuum cleaner will help keep this beach and others around the state, clean and plastics free.”
Lamson shared during the Hilo visit that “previous samples from Kamilo and Ka‘alu‘alu revealed that the prototype works,” and is over 99% effective at removing plastics over 0.04 mm in size, she said.
According to the state, marine plastic pollution is a threat to aquatic wildlife because they can ingest it and it can be a vector for the transmission of invasive species and diseases.