The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is between 700,000 and 15,000,000 square kilometers in size, may be reduced by 50 percent in five years thanks to The Ocean Cleanup. Using a large high-density polyethylene barrier and a screen, The Ocean Cleanup has created a system that can gather floating waste like discarded fishing nets and plastic.
The Ocean Cleanup will begin testing the system off the coast of California later this year, and it plans on officially launching the system next year.
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The Great Pacific Garbage patch is big. Really, really big. It’s difficult to put a precise figure on it, but experts who’ve tried offer approximations ranging from the size of Texas to twice the whole of the continental U.S.
That’s somewhere between 700,000 and 15,000,000 square kilometers of trash, all floating together in the middle of the Pacific Ocean like we tried to fire it into space, failed, watched it come crashing back down, and subsequently forgot about it.
The Ocean Cleanup certainly hasn’t forgotten, if that wasn’t obvious from the foundation’s name. In fact, they took to YouTube this week to unveil a new passive collection system that they’ve been working on for years.