• Interviews started
  • Closing date: 15 July 2021


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop technology to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The Valorization team’s goal is to give the ocean plastic a new life once it has been extracted from the ocean. With that, we aim to maximize recycling, generate funds for the continued cleanup, and create awareness for our mission. The first step in our process is to turn the collected plastic into usable material. Some of the ocean plastic has been floating in the ocean for decades, and recycling it is not easy.  

“Recycling of ocean plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not an easy job. We are looking for an intern who combines skills and knowledge about plastics and recycling with creative thinking and perseverance. This will help us turn the pollution of yesterday into the cleanup of tomorrow.”

Stella van den Berg, Valorization Director


This year, The Ocean Cleanup plans to return to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to test an improved ocean cleanup system and collect more plastic. We aim to mechanically recycle as much as possible. There will be fractions not suited for mechanical recycling, so an alternative plan needs to be established.

As an intern in the Valorization team, you will:

  • Develop a plan to process the fractions of the ocean plastic catch that cannot be mechanically recycled by analyzing the options in line with The Ocean Cleanup waste management and recycling policy and proposing a waste management plan.
  • Manage the storage of material from previous missions that have not yet been mechanically recycled by organizing the material, defining which parts of the material should be kept for R&D purposes, and defining which parts of the material can be processed with the new catch according to the waste management plan.
  • Support the team with day-to-day activities, like (desk) research and shipping of material.

For this assignment, you will work 4 to 6 months with our team normally based in the office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, now working from home most of the time according to COVID-19 guidelines. 


  • You are a Bachelor or Master student in Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, or Environmental Science.
  • You are interested in a practical internship that will give you hands-on experience with waste management and recycling. 
  • An internship is a requirement for your studies; you can provide a letter from your university to prove this. 


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

Please mention the potential start date and preferred duration in your application. 

Starting from:
Work permit needed:
European Union

Interviews have started, but please feel free to apply, as we might consider new applications.