The Ocean Cleanup

There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our ocean waters. The garbage that accumulates in the ocean merges into large patches; the biggest patch is currently between Hawaii and California. This is dangerous to the ecosystems that live in our oceans, which will in turn affect our own everyday life. So how do we get rid of the plastic floating in our ocean? This is where The Ocean Cleanup comes in. 

 

 

 

The Ocean Cleanup looks like a giant tube that sits on top of the water, while there is a system beneath the surface that traps the plastic. The technology is propelled by the wind and the currents, moving with the water and faster than the plastic that is just beneath the surface in order to trap it and bring it back to shore. The hope is that the plastic will be trapped before it breaks down into micro-plastics.

 

 

 

Once on shore and removed from the cleanup system, the plastic can be reused to make new products. The Ocean Cleanup hopes to create useful consumer goods from the harvested plastic, such as chairs, sunglasses, bumpers for cars, etc. The first prototype of this product was released in 2016, and the first official product was released on September 8. If this technology works the way it is supposed to and if it is combined with preemptive measures on land, our oceans could be free of plastic by 2050. The company also claims that if their full-scale plan gets put into action, 50% of the garbage patch between Hawaii and California could be gone in 5 years. This would have a major impact on marine life and the ecosystems that rely on clean water.

 

For more information or to get involved, visit their website here.  

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