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Volunteer - Ocean Plastic Recycling

The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup

Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2022


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop and scale technologies to rid the world's oceans of plastic. The Catch Management team's goal is to give the ocean plastic extracted from the ocean a new life to maximize recycling, generate funds for our operations, and create awareness for our mission. The first step in our process is to turn garbage into something useful. Some ocean plastic has been floating in the ocean for decades, making recycling even more difficult. 

"Recycling ocean plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not an easy job. We are looking for pragmatic support in turning the pollution of yesterday into the cleanup of tomorrow ! Anyone with skills and knowledge on plastics processing and project management, is keen to tackle plastic waste and can combine creative thinking and perseverance, can help us turn the pollution of yesterday into the cleanup of tomorrow.", Stella van den Berg, Catch Management Director


The Ocean Cleanup is currently harvesting plastic in the Pacific Ocean with System 002. As we aim to mechanically recycle as much as possible, this material needs to be prepared for processing by sorting and separation into dedicated fractions of polymer type, material and color.

We have identified various alternative ways of processing, but suitability needs to be proven by testing. 

As a volunteer in the Catch Management team, you will:

  • Support the recycling manager with execution of the recycling plan
  • Coordinate with recyclers
  • Be on-site as contact person
  • Support with documentation for the Chain of Custody
  • Keep track of the material inventory
  • Coordinate testing for the mechanically recycled fractions:
  • Review test list
  • Contact external parties for testing
  • Interpret the results
  • Support the Product Manager with data about the material
  • Work on a solution for the mechanical recycling rejects:
  • Perform a desk study on the pre-treatment of the rejected plastic for alternative processing methods
  • Execute tests with alternative processing methods
  • Contact third parties
  • Provide representative samples and join tests
  • Support the team with day-to-day activities, including (desk) research and shipping of material


  • You have preferably background and/or experience in Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, or Environmental Science
  • You are interested to work in industrial waste management settings and sites in the Netherlands (Greater Rotterdam Area, Flevoland, Southern Netherlands) and sometimes abroad in projects that will give you hands-on experience with waste management and recycling
  • Drivers license B, enabling you to travel to project locations
  • VCA certificate (Basis or Vol) or willingness to acquire
  • (Safety Health Environment Checklist Contactors)


  • You are comfortable with a high level of autonomy
  • You like hands-on tasks and getting your hands dirty
  • Strong command of Dutch & English, verbal and written
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal


As the execution phase of the recycling plan has started in November, the ability to start asap (early November) is greatly appreciated

Starting from:
Work permit needed:
European Union