The app I Clean My Sea, which can be downloaded since August, is based on a very simple idea: taking pictures to clean the oceans.

Who hasn’t found objects floating in the sea when going for a swim? A French start-up has capitalised on this sadly now common-place experience with an app that aims to get rid of all floating waste.

Waste is first collected then transformed

All you have to do is download the app and take a picture of the waste you’ve found. “The photo, its location and the waste’s drift forecast are transmitted to sailors on board of collection boats so that they can reach the waste’s location and intercept as much sea waste as possible! ” explains Aymeric Jouon, the start-up’s founder.

Once collected, the waste is transformed into the start-up’s own branded merchandise. I Clean My Sea sells T-shirts, shirts, water bottles and many other items with its logo “I Clean My Sea” or “100% sourced marine” written on them. At the moment, the waste collection boat is only active in the Basque region (at the southernmost point of France’s Atlantic coast). However, the start-up has big plans. In partnership with the European Space Agency, I Clean My Sea wants to develop an algorithm that would be able to identify floating waste areas from satellite images.