Vanni Covolo, 53, Italy
Vanni Covolo, 53 from Italy runs the River Cleaning project.
GenOcean: What challenges do you see the ocean-facing?
Vanni Covolo: The ocean is facing threats from all kinds of pollution. Every piece of litter, every harmful substance that humans carelessly let into the ocean diminishes our chances to mitigate the effects of climate change. But we do have the tools to reverse this trend.
80% of plastic in the ocean comes from rivers. Waste of all kinds has continued to be dumped into our rivers. One of the waste that has made his presence felt so strongly is plastic.
We’ve developed our River Cleaning system to take pollutants out, autonomously.
GO: How does the ocean inspire you?
VC: Places that once used to be clean and life-friendly are now contaminated, and very near home. Italy is surrounded by the sea and I have experienced first hand just how much pollution affects all of us equally. Near and far. Taking action anywhere means making the difference everywhere in the long run.
GO: What action(s) are you taking to restore and protect the ocean?
VC: We are a team, developing technologies to stop litter in any kind of river and watercourse, before they end up dispersed in the ocean. Our River Cleaning Project aims at greatly reducing the stress caused by plastic and oil waste on oceanic waters and coastlines, while decreasing the amount of microplastics and nanoplastics formed by degradation of polymers.
Our River Cleaning System operates autonomously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without the need for personnel.
GO: What message do you have for others to inspire them to take action for the ocean?
VC: As a global community, through repeated little actions and the systematic use of technologies, we can empower ourselves to protect the ocean, so crucial to the planet we live on.