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The government announced an agreement with The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch organization to use the "Interceptor" ship for cleaning the surface of Tarcoles River.
 - The Ocean Cleanup photos -

Published Thursday, June 10, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government announced an agreement with The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch organization to use the "Interceptor" ship for cleaning the surface of Tarcoles River.

The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization that develops advanced technologies to remove plastic from marine and river surfaces.

“This collaboration agreement is also an important step in the fight against climate change," Christine Pirenne, the Netherlands ambassador in Costa Rica said. "We look forward to putting it into practice. Along with this, we continue to seek solutions for the sustainable consumption and use of plastic, so that we can prevent it from continuing to reach rivers and oceans."

The first cleaning job will begin in the Tárcoles River, which could be accumulating up to 50,000 liters (over 13,208 gallons) of garbage. Once removed from the river, the garbage will be disposed of properly or recycled.

The Tárcoles River originates on the southern slopes of the Central Volcanic Range and flows in a south-westerly direction to Nicoya Gulf. The river is about 69 miles long and its watershed covers an area of ​​819 square miles.

The river's watershed drains approximately 67% of Costa Rica's untreated organic and industrial waste and is considered the most contaminated river basin in the country.

Tarcoles river is very often visited by tourists to see the huge colony of crocodiles, caimans, common basilisk and large iguanas, and other reptiles in their natural environment.

The agreement between the Ministry of the Environment and the Dutch organization also includes the exchange of technical knowledge of their experts on river plastic waste and efficient garbage extraction methods. In addition, the organization will support the communities for the development of cleaning, recycling and proper waste management systems.

It is expected that in the next few days the ministry will publish the budget used to cover this agreement.

The organization has used part of the waste extracted from rivers and seas in other countries, to make plastic sunglasses. Those were designed in California by Yves Béhar and made in Italy by Safilo. "This is probably the most stylish way you can help rid the oceans of plastic. And, should the time come, they've been designed to be easily recycled" The Ocean Cleanup said in its statement.

A video of the Interceptor cleaning system can be seen on The Ocean Cleanup YouTube channel.

According to data from the United Nations, more than eight million tons of plastic end up in the oceans, causing serious consequences for marine flora and fauna, fishing and tourism.

How should entrepreneurs in Costa Rica use The Ocean Cleanup technology to reduce pollution in rivers?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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