Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Miura Co., Ltd. announced a demonstration test of their jointly developed microplastic (*1) collection device, installed on a newbuilding wood chip carrier, which was conducted on October 27.
The microplastic collection device is activated during the operation of the ballast water treatment system, with the assumption that the collection takes place during cargo handling operations. Using a filter with a backwashing function, which constitutes the ballast water treatment system, the device efficiently collects microplastics trapped in the filter right before the treated water is discharged overboard.
MOL is the world’s first operator to install and demonstrate the microplastic collective device on a merchant vessel(*2). The project team continues to improve the device and is examining ways to make it easier for crewmembers to use and increase microplastic collection capacity.
Marine plastic waste, generated every day all over the world, remains in the sea for an extended period of time, causing grave concerns about global-scale environmental pollution. MOL’s initiative on ocean plastic pollution started with participation in the “Plastic Smart” forum hosted by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, and since then it has been expanding activities including marine plastic pollution-related scientific research (*3) with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
MOL is committed to global environmental conservation, a key to its corporate philosophy, and the company proactively promotes environmental measures while moving ahead with efforts to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Miura contributes to global ocean environmental conservation through ballast water treatment systems (cumulative units sold for FY2020: 1,200), which went on the market in 2014, and microplastic collection devices, and develops and expands its various products globally as a corporation “contributing to creating a society that is environmentally friendly and ways of living that are clean and comfortable through our work in the field of the Energy, Water, and Environment” as set out in its corporate mission statement.
(*1) The term “microplastics” refers to 5mm or smaller micro-size plastic resulting from discarded plastic in the ocean that is broken down by ultraviolet rays and wave action.
(*2) MOL research
(*3) MOL to Cooperate in JAMSTEC Marine Plastic Survey – Examining Japan-Palau Yacht Race Course –