From The Master Thesis to An Internationally Operating Start-up: How Our Partner Everwave Gets to The Root of The Plastic Problem

| By Leon Kirschgens & Jacqueline Plaster
The team of everwave: engineers, scientists and sea enthusiasts.

It all began with a diving holiday in Cape Verde. The founder of everwave, which was initially called Pacific Garbage Screening, was at the end of her studies of architecture and wanted to take a little break before starting with her master thesis. But what sounds so idyllic was a shocking experience for the 32-year-old. "I swam there through forests of floating plastic pieces." The extent of the pollution made her return to Germany in horror. "There must be something I can do", she thought. And so she did: in her master's thesis she developed a platform that can collect plastic passively from water. Now, more than 7 years later, the master's thesis has become an internationally active start-up that is much more than just developing the platform: The organisation everwave is a social enterprise that is dedicated to protect rivers and the ocean from plastic waste and to promote a more sustainable life-style, in order to protect aquatic environments as precious habitats, food resources and economic regions. 
For this purpose, everwave is founded on two pillars: Technological innovation and ecological inspiration. 
Technological innovation focuses on a combination of active and passive cleanup technologies for rivers that prevent waste from entering the oceans. Due to their functional architecture, the stationary platform systems continuously take up and store waste drifting with the current. The flexible and AI-supported garbage collection boats are able to clean up waste hotspots in the larger environment - even in places that are difficult to access. Combined, the platform and garbage collection boats can efficiently clean big and small rivers. The waste is then recycled by mechanical, thermochemical, and biotechnological processes to new products. The AI-data gives everwave the opportunity to discover what kind of plastic is in the river and thus where it comes from. That allows them to take preventative actions at the problem’s source – and it’s the link to the other pillar:

As we all know, to solve a problem sustainably, it needs to be stopped at its roots. That’s why everwave has set up the second pillar: Ecological Inspiration. It comprises raising public awareness for the global plastic crisis and promoting solutions through environmental education, interactive events, and creative PR activities with international outreach. This includes high quality education material, a website and linked social media channels, interviews and media coverages in news portals and television as well as presentations, information stands and special events. It’s just a few weeks ago when everwave started to sale their “EmergenSEA Kit”, a case full of elements that are made for teaching in schools such as magnifying glasses filled with microplastic and work sheets.

Within MIX-UP project, everwave is responsible for consistent public dissemination through this online blog.

The everwave team taking care of the MIX-UP blog, complement each other through their different fields of expertise and thus form the perfect unit for science communication. The team: Leon Kirschgens, content manager with journalistic background and student (social science) and Jacqueline Plaster, Project Manager (M.Sc Biotechnology), under the direction of everwave's Head of R&D, CTO and Co-Founder Dr. Tilman Floehr. The team is also always supported by the everwave's PR&Marketing Team under the direction of Clemens Feigl, Head of PR&M, CMO and Co-Founder. 

The second task of everwave is to provide marine and river litter for MIX-UP research purposes through partners or self-collected material by their cleanup technologies. 

Since everwave is a young start-up, it will be interesting to follow their progress in future!