On the 4/5th of August I had the opportunity to visit Manfred Reicher and witness a part of his developing project. Reicher is currently working to create a kind of filter to lift plastic from the sea. Facing great skepticism Manfred has been working largely on his own although a small community exists that support him. This short film exposes Reicher's ambitions and hopes as he continues to explore the important question of how we can begin to undo the damage that we as a species are currently imposing on our habitat.
M: So we are still not ready because we never the money and the support. Most of the Turkish people and also Bozburun people, they have different goals to ours. They don't want to deal with trash.
Also there are scientists you know, everyone knows what is going on on this Earth. They make study after study, but no-one is active in response to the results. It's unbelievable. This then happens around the world. They didn't know how they can break through. We can only do this with actions. We show them what has really happened. Its a small one, a little one, because this is a prototype, and we haven't got any experience with that since it is completely new. Because scientists said there is no chance to get this trash out of the ocean and we would want to show them different. We're going to show them there is a possibility. At least when we have taken out tons it is already something less.
So here we are.
A: And this is the prototype here?
M: Yes, this is the prototype here. We've been working on them already six months. Nine months. And day by day…
This is our engine. And we brought it in China. But we have to change this part here. This [shaft] is a lot longer, and we have to make a big propeller here. But it should be like this. Then we have much more speed, and much more power.
M: I want to make the platform then on the plastic island that I am building, some of the stuff I have already made. The bottles. And I need a long iron, 6 metre long and
3 meter on the other sides. That is 18 square metres. And what will be on that platform?
First we need to make trash because we collect it with this one, we put the trash on it. On the trash we want to make a platform. So we can make a lot of activities on it. Especially theatre, art, demonstrations. Visual art activities… maybe also [connected] with activities on land with art installations. I don't know yet how it will work and it depends on the people who want to join us. So we would like to educate it in this way.
Educate them and show them what is really going on in the environment. Present them some solutions for trash collecting. To do some recycling…
M: You know this is the cheap one. The cheap version. Because originally I wanted to have big tanks.
A: The metal ones? The metal barrels?
M: So I chose the water bottles because in fact they are also very dangerous and they use them everywhere for water. So to build the net island because on this net
and also tomorrow I buy the big iron and connect it to the trash bag. We put all the trash on this plastic island and we carry that with the Pandora. Later with the hallelujah, the trimaran. Step by step the island will grow.
I think the project goes to 2020. So that's time enough. But I don't know how fast and how quick I can develop it because you see I am on my own you know.
A: You were saying that neither the government nor the EU
would want to help you.
M: I was trying but they don't give any sign. They say they do some thing but not in that way. I was trying to get in touch with them. I think as soon as this one is ready and it gets documented and some public relations can be made and we are on the ocean with action and we are presenting them, showing them, mirroring them the issue, if this is possible then I want to picture it in order to give it to this social interactive way directly to Youtube or something. But I don't know how it works because I have no experience, but this would be ok, it would be great to have it like that so that then they have no chance to ignore it "It's not true," you know. Because it is one to one.
The waste. I keep the waste as long as possible because I want that it grows, and then I see in which way and where we can recycle that, because the recycling is another issue, another matter. Here in Turkey they just burn it. But the recycling problem is also a big problem. Worldwide.