Pristine Ocean Podcast

30. Trash Booms with Karsten from Plastic Fischer

October 24, 2021 Peter Hall
Pristine Ocean Podcast
30. Trash Booms with Karsten from Plastic Fischer
Show Notes

Plastic Fischer

This is the Pristine Ocean podcast. I'm your host, Peter Hall. We talk to people about projects around the world, tackling the scourge of marine plastic litter.

Imagine you're looking over a river covered with plastic refuse.

Plastic bottles, sachets, flip flops.

You might think that is unsightly. You might also think about the loss of quality of life for the people living near the river.

You might ask yourself, where is all this going and why doesn't somebody do something about it?

This is where the story of plastic Fisher begins from a hotel looking out over the Mekong River. Karsten Hirsch decided to throw in his career as a lawyer and do something.


River clean-ups have become a central tool in the fight against ocean plastic. It is now thought that about 1000 rivers are responsible for 80% of the plastic flowing into the ocean. This is both a challenge but also an opportunity.

To catch the pollution before it did disperses into the wider environment.

Carsten told me that his personal connection to rivers comes from his passion for a range of water sports, including sailing and rowing. He and his partner founded Plastic Fischer to clean Up rivers.

Along the way, they developed a trash barrier that floats on the surface to concentrate the plastic waste.

Working directly on site, they developed the three L principle of local, low cost and low tech.

Karsten told me the story about how Plastic Fischer began.