Dutch developer's Ocean Cleanup project kicks off

Mindy Sparks
September 12, 2018

"After 273 scale model tests, six at-sea prototypes, a comprehensive mapping of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) with 30 vessels and an airplane, and several technology iterations, we are now ready to put the world's first ocean cleanup system to the test", The Ocean Cleanup said in a statement provided to Fox News.

The supply vessel was towing a 600-metre-long boom device dubbed System 001, created to contain floating ocean plastic so it can be scooped up and recycled.

Solar-powered and satellite-connected sensors, cameras and navigation lights communicate the position of the device to passing marine traffic and provide the Ocean Cleanup team with data on the system's performance. Promotional materials show the structure is comprised of a long floater with a plastic skirt underneath, meant to move along with the current but at a slightly faster pace due to pressure from wind and waves.

Slat hopes that this project will also prompt the world to think differently about how we deal with plastic.

The 24-year-old innovator from the Netherlands first became passionate about cleaning the oceans when at 16 he went scuba diving in the Mediterranean Sea and saw more plastic bags than fish.

So far, Ocean Cleanup has gathered support from a number of other foundations as well as from philanthropists such as Salesforce founder Marc Benioff.

The ship was heading to a spot 240 nautical miles off the California coastline for a two-week trial before sailing to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating trash pile twice the size of France that swirls in the ocean halfway between California and Hawaii.

The system is designed so that natural oceanic forces carry it faster than plastic garbage, and concentrate it in the center of the "U" shaped by the boom. Without a human respect for and appreciation for the ocean, the need for cleanups will continue. "We are therefore very pleased to contribute with services and equipment to The Ocean Cleanup." says Claus V. Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk and CEO of the Energy division.

"If you don't stop plastics from flowing into the ocean, it will be a Sisyphean task", Mr Leonard said.

Most of the waste we throw out every day is plastic, and most of it finds its way to the ocean where it joins the floating litter continent, driven by marine currents.

Every year, at least 8 tonnes of plastic leaks into our oceans.

Leonard also raised concerns that marine and wildlife could be entangled by the net that will hang below the surface. We see plastic throughout water columns, on the ocean floor, deposited in polar ice caps.

The Ocean Cleanup claims it has not diminished the problem of pollution plaguing our oceans - and adds it simply wants to tackle the issue before things get worse.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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