Massive Ocean Cleaning System To Be Deployed In 2016
May 31, 2015
Earth's oceans are overloaded with plastic bags and other kinds of synthetic debris, which can be deadly for aquatic animals and detrimental to the marine environment in general. According to a 2014 study, there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 269,000 tons dispersed in oceans. This pollution is estimated to harm 100,000 sea turtles and marine mammals and 1,000,000 ocean animals each year.
In 2013, Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of Dutch-registered nonprofit organization The Ocean Cleanup, developed a trash collector which was promised to clean up the world's oceans in just 5 years. Now, he announced that this ambitious project is going to be deployed in 2016.
The ocean cleanup is planned to start off the coast of Tsushima, an island located between Japan and South-Korea, suffering from a massive plastic pollution problem – it is estimated that one cubic meter of pollution per person gets to the ocean each year. The 2000-meter long system will become the longest floating structure in history and will operate for at least two years.
How does it work?
It is an anchored network of floating barriers which collects plastic debris with the help of ocean currents. Thus, the ocean will basically clean itself. After debris gets settled at these barriers, it can be removed or collected to be processed later.
Within five years, the company plans to launch a 100-kilometer long system in the waters between Hawaii and California. According to the Ocean Cleanup's computer modeling, it would allow to clean up nearly half of the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch , a massive collection of plastic particles in the Pacific, in ten years.
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