In March 2018 first action was taken with a short visit by Prof. Dr. Gilian Gerke - a waste management and recycling expert from the University of Magdeburg/Germany - and the arrival of her master student Julia Giebel. Under the guidance of this initiative, Julia and helpers from Coral Eye, Sea Souls, Murex Dive and Blue Bay Divers resorts, sorted and analyzed the stored waste that Coral Eye collected on a stretch of 100 meters of beach during six weeks from November to December 2017.
First data analysis by Julia indicate that more than half of the volume is made up by single-use water bottles and cups. Many of these items were produced by major American and European companies, showing the globalization also of marine plastic pollution, of which governments and businesses alike should be more concerned.
The outcome was exciting and disillusioning at the same time. The results show that over two thirds of the total weight of the beach waste is recyclable and has an, albeit low, economic value. But the market value of the collected plastic is too low to allow for an economically sustainable management, i.e. it does not pay all the expenses. However, based on these analyses the Bangka consortium of resorts decided to start the project anyway.