Ocean Cleanup began the trial phase of its efforts to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area between Hawaii and the coast of California that contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic marine debris.
A scaled-up fleet of 60 of these types of systems could clean up to 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over the next five years.
10 September 2018: A marine litter collection system, System 001, left California, US, as part of an experiment to clean up plastic marine debris in the world’s oceans, beginning with the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” The system is first completing a trial phase 240 nautical miles into the Pacific Ocean, and will be deployed the remaining 1,000 nautical miles to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch if the trial phase is successful.
According to the Ocean Cleanup organization, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to measure 1.6 million square kilometers and contain 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic marine debris. The garbage patch is located halfway between Hawaii and the coast of California. The Pacific patch is the largest of five garbage patches around the world.
The marine litter collection system consists of a 600 meter long floater that is carried on ocean waves and currents, and collects plastic debris passively along the way. According to Ocean Cleanup’s research, a scaled-up fleet of 60 of these types of systems could clean up to 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over the next five years.
Boyan Slat, Ocean Cleanup founder, was named Champion of the Earth by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) in recognition of his efforts to find a solution to plastic debris in the ocean. [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [Champions of the Earth Website]