How to Clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Use a Fleet of Ocean Cleanup Systems

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The System 001 Ocean Cleanup system took six months of assembly, but it’s now finally complete and ready to begin saving the ocean. The system will be towed in a couple of days by the Maersk Launcher.

Until now, the system – which contains a floater, a skirt and stabilizers – were sent to the lagoon on 24 August for the final assembly. The last stage added E&I pods, navigation lights, GPS, AIS tracking devices,  satellite communication equipment, and cameras. There are also solar panels that power all the electrical equipment on the system.

The system will start a trial that will last for two weeks, at 250-350 nautical miles offshore. After that, the Maersk Launcher will take System 001 for a 1000 nautical miles journey. The destination is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Ocean Cleanup has done extensive research, analysis, and observations on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They had 273 scale model tests, six prototypes at sea, and also mapped the Garbage Patch with an airplane and 30 vessels.

There isn’t yet a better alternative than the System 001 Ocean Cleanup. Cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with vessels and nets would take thousands of years and a load of money. However, these projects would do the dirty job, removing half of the patch in five years, at a small price.

The Innovative Idea – an Artificial Coastline

This technology works by creating an artificial coastline. The system has a 600-meter-long floater. Below the surface of the water, it has a 3-meter-deep skirt attached to the floater. The floater would prevent plastic to pass over it, and the skirt would stop debris from going under it.

The system and the plastic will be carried by the current, but the system will move faster than the plastic, wind propelling it as plastic gets capture.

According to the models, a fleet of almost 60 systems would clean 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years.

By 2040, the Ocean Cleanup projects could remove 90% of ocean plastic if fleets of these systems will be deployed in every ocean gyre.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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