iBi Free Life & iBi Foundation have ordered the first ever solar powered La Bella Verde catamaran, with an ocean clean up system that will collect and remove plastics from the ocean in Ibiza and the Balearic Islands. Read an interview with Ed en Joke Pronk (iBi Foundation) to find out more about this incredible venture.
Please give us an overview of what you do and the projects you are involved with?
Our organisation consists of the iBi Free Life, a kids’ clothing brand that supports the iBi Foundation. At the iBi Foundation, we are committed to removing plastic from the ocean around Ibiza and the Balearic Islands. The iBi Foundation supports various charities that remove plastic from our oceans and keep our beaches clean. We’re currently launching our own project with the clean up catamaran around Ibiza and the Balearic Islands.
The new sea clean up boat will transform Ibiza, what gave you this idea?
The idea of the clean up catamaran came out of the rescue of a sea turtle on the 2nd of July 2017. We found a sea turtle in the open sea, caught in plastic and unable to swim. This was a turning point for us. We began collecting plastic from the sea surrounding Ibiza using a small scoop net. Whilst using it as a temporary solution, we’ve been working on a more efficient way to collect ocean waste. We came up with many great ideas, yet we decided to begin the project using a clean up catamaran.
How did the relationship with LBV begin?
Before we found out about La Bella Verde, we were involved in another project in the Netherlands. By coincidence, we met someone in a restaurant who put us in touch with the La Bella Verde Director, so we’ve met and discussed the possibilities of working together on the iBi Foundation project. Shortly you will be able to see the result of our meetings with Maarten and Jaap.
How did you go about designing the new clean up system?
Actually, designing the system was not that complicated. Following common sense, we streamed all our energy into creating a simple and effective solution. We knew we needed a catamaran because of its design. Any rubbish that comes in between the hulls will be caught in our system then collected.
What are your goals with the new boat?
Our goal is to create widespread awareness and clean up as much plastic as possible from the oceans. Hopefully, in the future, we can grow the fleet and use even more catamarans with a similar system. We hope this will encourage other people to start similar projects around the world. Ideally, we want to collect all the floating plastic pieces from the sea around Ibiza and the Balearic Islands and help to keep it clean in the future.
What do you love about the sea and why?
Our love for the sea goes way back. We’ve been sailing around for many years in different parts of the world, beautiful marine creatures such as dolphins and whales, sunsets and sunrise (are the best out at sea). There is a freedom you can feel out on the open ocean with endless views.
What types of plastic will the new boat remove?
With the catamaran and its clean up system, we will be able to remove all kinds of plastic, big and small, from plastic bags to floating buckets and refrigerator doors as an example. However, we are still working on a solution to collect microplastics, with pieces smaller than 5 mm that contaminate the Mediterranean sea. As soon as the project is up and running we will focus on developing a solution for that also.
How will you ensure sea life will not be caught up in the boat?
We have developed the system in a way that nothing will be caught but only stopped in between the hulls. Marine life will not be affected because they can easily swim around the net.
If people want to get involved, how can they help?
Everybody who wants to help can do this in many ways. You can join us on the sail and help to collect the rubbish. Also sharing our project with others is a way of helping to raise awareness and as a result making the oceans cleaner. Of course, we are also looking for organisations and companies who want to help to fund our actions. People can also donate by themselves.
Visit www.ibifoundation.com to find out more and join in the action.