The massive barrier that was developed to collect plastic waste floating in the Pacific Ocean has encountered yet another problem.
In December, the Ocean Cleanup group announced it had to revamp the design of its trash-collecting device because it was having trouble holding on to the plastic pollution. The device was designed to collect up to 5 tons of ocean plastic a month from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Now, a 60-foot section of the system has broken off and the entire device will be towed back to port for repairs.
Newser has more details:
Great Pacific Garbage Patch: 2, Wilson: 0. That’s the score some two months after Dutch nonprofit Ocean Cleanup launched a plastic collection system, nicknamed Wilson, designed to capture trash floating in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.
Wilson, a 2,000-foot-long U-shaped barrier that collects plastic in a 10-foot-deep screen, has been in operation since October. Last month the man behind the project, 24-year-old Boyan Slat, reported that, in some instances, the system was moving too slowly to actually hold onto the plastic it collected (or to even catch it in the first place). Now, per USA Today, a 60-foot section of the system has broken off and the whole thing will be towed back to port for repairs. In a statement, Slat says the problem was discovered Dec. 29 during a regular inspection and blames “material fatigue.”