The Ocean Cleanup Launch
Who can use good news?
This month The Ocean Cleanup launched a 2,000-foot boom designed to gather plastic debris and clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
According to The New York Times, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floats between California and Hawaii and is comprised of 1.8 trillion pieces of trash, with at least 87,000 tons of plastic. Gross. The Ocean Cleanup will endeavor to clean up half of the garbage patch in five years.
To learn about how the boom technology works, read our article about plastic waste and The Ocean Cleanup here.
According to Forbes, the patch measures 617,763.45 square miles in size. For reference, Alaska is 663,267.26 square miles in size. That’s our biggest state. That’s big enough to be seen clearly by satellites from space.
The boom has been towed to a site for a two-week test period, after which it will be towed to the garbage patch 1,400 off the mainland. Boyan Slat, 24, founder of The Ocean Cleanup, said that the boom will arrive by mid-October.
While cost efficiency, performance, and impact on marine life remain open questions, the fact that such an ambitious waste management endeavor has been undertaken deserves to be celebrated. In a world that’s only begun to see the devastating effects of climate change, the least we can do is take out the trash.
Caron C (2018) Giant Trap Is Deployed to Catch Trash Littering the Pacific Ocean. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/science/ocean-cleanup-great-pacific-garbage-patch.html
Nace T (2018) The World’s Largest Ocean Cleanup Has Officially Begun. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/09/10/the-worlds-largest-ocean-cleanup-has-officially-begun/