Clean Oceans International

Clean Oceans International

Water Security


An interdisciplinary team of UCSC undergraduates are working with Clean Oceans International (COI) to provide practical solutions to plastic pollution. The plastics characterization group is using a protocol published by the University of Cambridge to determine the identity of unknown plastics collected in the field. Meanwhile, the host site evaluation group is following guidelines in the “Plastic to Fuel Project Developers Guide” prepared by the Oceans Recovery Alliance, to collect data and evaluate two proposed host sites for plastic-to-fuel conversion technology invented by Blest.

Methods: Outreach to municipalities that receive plastic waste

  • Review plastic handling at facility
  • Determine types & quantity of plastic intake
  • Conduct cost / profit analysis for implementation of technology at facility.


Project Outcomes: We will complete two site evaluations (urban and remote) to verify the Cambridge protocol's ability to identify plastics and provide quantitative and economic data on UC Recycling inventory. Our team will make recommendations for P2F implementation at UCSC and Dimeo Lane Landfill. To achieve these goals, our team will complete the following project objectives:

  • Collect 3 samples to establish volume and economic values of UCSC recycling inventory during.
  • Collaborate with the UCSC waste facility to introduce Blest technology on campus and conduct pilot study
  • Create a catalogue for identifying plastics.
  • Analyze output of P2F machine.
  • Interview representatives of One People One Reef to complete case study of Ulithi Atoll
  • Replicate and improve existing ways of characterizing plastics such as those included in the Cambridge protocol published by the University of Cambridge.

Find out more at COI website