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Thanks To Coldplay, Malaysia Will Benefit From…

today31 March 2021


The British band Coldplay is taking up the monumental task of helping to clean up the plastic trash from our rivers in a collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup!


In a social media post, the band – consisting of members Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Phil Harvey and Will Champion – announced that they would be sponsoring the deployment of a new river Interceptor 005 (aka the ‘Neon Moon 1’), a machine built by Dutch nonprofit engineering environmental organization The Ocean Cleanup. The interceptor is locally-built in partnership with Finnish firm, Konecranes at their MHE-Demag facility in Bukit Raja, Klang and is expected to catch up to 100 tonnes of trash, especially plastics, daily. In their statement, the band shared:


“Without action, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050, which is why The Ocean Cleanup’s work is so vital. The Ocean Cleanup plans to deploy these vessels in 1000 rivers around the world, helping towards the goal of reducing floating ocean plastic by 90% by 2040. We’re proud to sponsor Interceptor 005 which will catch thousands of tons of waste before it reaches the ocean. “



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A post shared by Coldplay (@coldplay)


The Ocean Cleanup founder and chief executive officer, Boyan Slat – who first presented the idea for a way to reduce ocean plastic pollution using a passive system at a TEDx talk in 2012 – had initially found that 1,000 of the world’s most polluted rivers were responsible for roughly 80% of the world’s plastic pollution. As a result, he devised a barge-like system that was completely solar-powered and was aimed to be a scalable solution that could be deployed around the world’s rivers. Malaysia is the first to receive the Interceptor 005 (the first of two produced for series production and the first of the third-generation design), having initially received one in 2019 (which was placed in the Klang River).



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A post shared by The Ocean Cleanup (@theoceancleanup)


An analysis of Asia’s worst ocean polluters shows Malaysians are the biggest individual consumers of plastic packaging. In a 2019 study commissioned by WWF, Malaysia has the highest annual per capita plastic use, at 16.78 kg per person compared to China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. In terms of plastic waste, Malaysia ranks the second-highest in overall generated waste. Following Malaysia, the Interceptor will also be placed in the heavily polluted waterways of countries like Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, USA, Jamaica and Thailand.



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A post shared by Coldplay (@coldplay)


Since their formation in 1996, Coldplay has made an effort to heal the world with their music and their philanthropic pursuits. The band is known to give 10 per cent of their profits to charity and are supporters of Amnesty International (a non-governmental organization focused on human rights), Oxfam (a confederation of 20 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty) and have performed at numerous charity functions. Quite famously, the band made the decision to stop touring until they “could offer carbon-neutral concerts”, with their last tour being the ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ tour between 2016–2017, which saw them play 122 shows around the world. At the time, frontman Chris Martin said:


“We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral. The hardest thing is the flying side of things. But, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single use plastic, to have it largely solar-powered. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”


*Cover image credits: @coldplay

Written by: Marissa Anne

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