As remembered we introduced about 21-year-old Boyan Slat launched his first prototype of the World’s Largest Ocean Cleanup in 2016? Yes, the CEO and founder of The Ocean Cleanup once said “This is a historic day on the path toward clean oceans. A successful outcome of this test should put us on track to deploy the first operational pilot system in late 2017.” In 2018, the day has finally come. On September 8th, the Ocean Cleanup launched the first of many massive plastic-cleaning arrays into the Pacific Ocean.
After 5 years of research, engineering and testing, the world’s first ocean cleanup system(“System 001”) from San Francisco Bay, marking the start of the cleanup. The system is now on its way to an intermediary test stop, 250-350 nautical miles offshore for a 2-week trial before continuing its journey toward the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 1,200 nautical miles offshore, to start the cleanup.
The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization, developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The Dutch foundation developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, unveiled its North Sea prototype in June 2016.
The snake-like ocean barrier is made out of vulcanised rubber and works by harnessing sea currents to passively funnel floating rubbish – often just millimetres wide – into a cone. A cable sub-system will anchor the structure at depths of up to 4,500 metres – almost twice as far down as has even been done before – keeping it in place so it can trap the rubbish for periodic collection by boats.
By utilising the ocean currents to our advantage, the passive drifting systems are estimated to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years’ time.