Pristine Ocean Podcast

26. River Barriers with Marcos from Pangea

August 29, 2021 Peter Hall
Pristine Ocean Podcast
26. River Barriers with Marcos from Pangea
Show Notes


Rivers. They are nature's conveyor belts powered by the pull of the moon. They run tirelessly day and night pumping not only water but also trash into the ocean. They are thought to be the source of 80% of marine plastic pollution. 

Even up to 2018, it was thought that just ten rivers in the world were responsible for that. These were large rivers connecting cities to the oceans. 

More recently, it has been found that this model seriously underestimates the influence of smaller rivers. 

Nowadays the science is reporting about 1000 rivers, bringing 80% of plastic to the ocean. 

This leakage needs to be plugged to stop ocean plastic litter, but how? 

One tool that is showing promise is something called river barriers. 

The one’s that I've seen are made by hanging a grid on a series of floaters and stringing them across a flowing waterway. 

They are passive devices that use the power of the water to concentrate the waste 24/7. 

Volunteers or contractors come and clean them out regularly. 

But how will these structures be financed? What financial models will pay for scaling up and catching all this trash? 

Pangea is a startup which not only plans to scale up river barriers, but they also have the know how to generate the necessary funding. 

I had the pleasure of talking to the founder of Pangia, Marcos Bulacio. 

His story is both inspiring and heartwarming. I hope you enjoy it. I certainly did. 

Full transcript of interview