Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Ocean Cleanup brings the first plastic catch onshore

On Thursday, The Ocean Cleanup has brought the first marine plastic collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to land. After months of experimenting, failing, and tinkering with the floating trash-collection device, called System 001/B, 60 large bags full of plastic trash were presented in the Canadian city of Vancouver.

The plastic catch varies from large fishing nets to plastic particles of barely a millimeter in diameter. It is not clear how many kilos of waste have been fished out of the water. However, it says that approximately 40% of the catch consists of fishing nets.

Plastic catch extracted from System 001/B
Plastic catch extracted from System 001/B

The Ocean Cleanup now wants to transform collected plastic waste into new sustainable products, the first of which will be presented in September 2020. Details of the product, pricing, and quantity are also set to be announced at this time. The organization’s leader, Dutchman Boyan Slat, hopes that many will participate in the campaign through the purchase of recycled products. With the proceeds from these products, Slat can further scale up his cleaning mission.

Slat also announced that “System 002” is preparing the next phase of the project. The aim is to install larger-scale collection devices for plastic waste in the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The first garbage collector installed in September 2018 from San Francisco. However, the system was damaged in its test operation and could not hold the garbage as planned. The construction consisting of a 600-meter long U-shaped tube with a kind of curtain as safety gear has been improved and retested. In October, The Ocean Cleanup reported first successes. The project is supported by companies, universities, and the Dutch government.