The first-ever machine to rid Oceans of Plastics, is due to set sail

The world’s first ocean cleanup machine is set to sail soon. It is headed to a plastic waste concentration area known as Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located halfway between California and Hawaii. This massive patch, created by currents flowing in the plastic waste, is estimated to be 3 times the size of France in terms of area.

Modeled mass concentration of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. (Image: TheOceanCleanup)

The cleanup involves a system comprising of large floating nets and pipes for the collection of junk. The debris would then be shipped back to the shore for recycling.

Assembly of the first cleanup system in progress, in Alameda, California. (Image: The Ocean Cleanup)

 

The Dutch Non-profit venture, The Ocean Clean up, which was founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, is behind this initiative. Slat dropped out of engineering college and was only 18 years old when he founded the company. He raised a $2.2 mn from crowdfunding campaign before other investors joined in.

Boyan Slat, the young Dutch founder of The Ocean Cleanup (Image: The Ocean Cleanup)

 

Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste enter circulating ocean currents. It is a hazard for sea life. The Ocean Cleanup has done several aerial surveys and trials before deploying the cleanup system.

Plastic Samples Collected During The Ocean Cleanup’s mega expedition 2015. (Image: The Ocean Cleanup)

 

An ocean cleanup with the help of vessels and nets would be time-consuming, laborious, costly, and unfriendly to the environment. That is why Slat and his team developed a passive system. Company’s website describes the system:

 

The company estimates that they can clean up around 50% of floating plastic debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in next 5 years with the deployment of multiple systems.

Check out this video to understand the system better:

(Video: YouTube/TheOceanCleanup)

 

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