Tourists from all over the world flock to Spain’s coastal regions throughout the year; however, the rising amount of plastic waste accumulating in the Mediterranean is threatening to do irreversible damage to these once-pristine waters. Thankfully, one forward-thinking cruise company is doing its part to keep the damage at bay. In collaboration with the iBi Foundation, La Bella Verde has recently launched the Mediterranean’s only solar-powered and zero-emissions charter catamaran that comes equipped with a unique ocean filtering system, which removes plastics from the ocean waters.
Launched in 2014 by two captains and one marine biologist who call Ibiza home, La Bella Verde is a sustainable charter company that also runs a non-profit foundation dedicated to preserving Ibiza’s beautiful waters. According to the company ethos, the eco-boating service revolves around enjoying life while caring for the environment. “We are here for a good time, and mother nature should not suffer at our expense,” the website reads.
With seven solar-powered catamarans, the company charters its “eco-cats” to tourists and locals, providing an exciting experience on the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, all while emitting zero emissions. Now, the company has launched a new clean-up boat that actively filters out any debris in the water.
The IBI Clean-Up Boat’s innovative, integrated system includes a high-grade inox steel framework with tight nylon netting that is connected between the boat’s two hulls. Operated with a central winch, the netting is lowered into the water to scoop up plastic waste. The system is designed so that marine life and seaweed can easily be released back into the water without any suffering. When it is not lowered for cleaning, the area serves as a comfortable, hammock-style lounge.
According to the company’s calculations, the solar-powered boats, which sail seven hours per day, are able to clean approximately the equivalent of 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools per day.
Photography by Victor Frankowski via La Bella Verde