Our Story

  • The Beginning

    In December 2018, Georg, Moritz and Karsten traveled to Vietnam to celebrate Karsten’s graduation from law school. Our apartment in Ca Mau had a small balcony with a view on the Mekong River. What struck our mind was that we saw a continuous stream of plastic, styrofoam and other waste that was floating down the river, heading towards the ocean. We realised that every single piece that we saw would eventually end up forever in the sea, break down to microplastic and threaten biodiversity and marine life.

    We kept talking about this topic during our stay in Vietnam and decided to test an idea that Georg had: Build a waterwheel that automatically collects the plastic from the river and even lifts it on shore. In January 2019, Georg built this wheel together with his brother Loick and tested it in Cologne - and it worked!
  • first prototypes

    Motivated by this successful pilot, Georg decided to found Plastic Fischer together with Karsten and Moritz in April 2019. We decided to build and test our technology in Indonesia as soon as possible to test out our idea in the real environment of polluted rivers in Asia. Karsten and Moritz moved to Indonesia in June 2019 and re-built the water wheel and directly proved that it was the right thing to immediately test our idea in a real environment. The wheel didn’t work due to low flow-speed of the rivers during the dry season.
  • Birth of Trashboom

    Moritz and Karsten decided to move to Bandung, where one of the most polluted rivers in the world is located: The Citarum River. We teamed up with the national army that is in charge of cleaning the river. We observed that they had only a limited time during the day when they could go out with the boat and collect floating plastic with nets in the river.

    Moritz decided to build a swimming fence out of locally available materials and after trying out different versions, we eventually developed the TrashBoom. We were super happy with the effectiveness of this super simple solution.
  • First Deployments

    We decided to set up a TrashBoom in collaboration with Make A Change World in Bali and successfully deployed our second full-scale TrashBoom within record time. Even the World Economic Forum was impressed by the outcome and shared a post about Plastic Fischer on their channels. After that, we received a lot of requests from all over the world for our TrashBooms.

    This resulted in the decision to make our technology open source and available for free on our website. With this, we want to make “taking action” as easy as possible for everyone.
  • Today's Impact

    Today (October 1st, 2021), we are working in India (Bangalore/Varanasi), in Indonesia (Bandung), and have a planned and grant-financed project in Vietnam which is waiting for kick-off.

    We are aiming to scale massively in India and Indonesia within the next months and years. There are many polluted rivers to tackle and we need affordable solutions to do that. We are very proud that we have managed to motivate other companies like e.g. Sungai Watch, Pangea Movement and other NGOs to copy our approach and stop plastic in rivers with simple technology.


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