Earlier this year we posted on a device designed to help clean the ocean of some of the plastic that has accumulate in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest of the 5 plastic patches that have formed in our world’s oceans. At the time, the device was not collecting plastic like planned. Then it experienced some maintenance issues and had to be towed back to port in San Francisco for repairs.
Dutch founder, Boyan Slat, did not let this deter him from his longterm goal of helping to remove plastics for our world’s oceans. He worked on some technical tweaks and his Ocean clean up sweeper is now successfully doing its intended job. The device is currently in the Pacific, using the natural forces of the ocean to catch and collect plastics down to 1 millimeter in size. Now that the concept is working, the goal is to scale up the operation. The longterm goal of Ocean Cleanup is to have numerous unmanned floating devices out in world’s oceans collecting plastics. Then every few months haul the collected debris back to shore for it to be recycled and utilized in other ways. The plan is to then utilize the value of the story in that the plastic was collected from the ocean in hopes that companies will use this material to make their products. Consumers could then know that they are helping clean the ocean when purchasing products made out of this material.
Like we said in our first post covering this topic, we understand that removing this debris is just a start, the most important goal is to stop this plastic from entering the ocean at the source. But we do appreciate people trying to make a difference. There is a correlation between the health of our oceans and the fisheries they can support so we will continue to follow Slat’s mission and hope that it continues to work!
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