Clean Oceans International (COI) is a Santa Cruz, California based 501c3 non-profit.
Our mission is to seek practical solutions to plastic pollution through innovation, education, and direct action.
A New Beginning
COI began in 2008 as “The Clean Oceans Project” and developed systems for locating, collecting and recycling plastic from the ocean with minimal environmental and financial impact, which proved too expensive to assemble and deploy on short notice.
Our agenda is organized in phases to provide educated volunteers.
Education, Innovation, and Direct Action
COI’s first phase works with student volunteers conducting simple research of plastic pollution deposition, generating useful information with minimal financial outlay and creating awareness of plastic pollution through community networking.
The second facet is independent testing of Plastic to Fuel (PTF) technology to convert plastic waste into diesel fuel using safe, clean electrical heat. This technology still has unanswered questions so testing is conducted through academic institutions in collaboration with the manufacturer, waste management infrastructure, area business and agricultural industry.
These trials will also produce financial guidelines for profitable deployment of this emerging technology internationally.
Scalable infrastructure to profitably convert plastic into liquid fuel generates localized financial motivation to manage plastic waste as a valuable resource rather than a nuisance. Just as cash deposits have almost eliminated can and bottle debris, value for plastic scrap incentivizes plastic collection and recycling.
COI’s third facet is direct action, where we apply what we have learned to solve a specific problem. Our expeditions page discusses our trips to Alaska and Hawaii and the British Virgin Islands.
In 2013-16 COI staff and volunteers collected debris and talked trash in Hawaii, Alaska, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Oregon and California.
These tests and trials are an important prelude to deploying a vessel to collect and process floating plastic in site. In time that will become a practical extension of this research and we will have the resources to do that effectively and efficiently.