The 2,000-foot-long floating tube that skims the ocean’s surface to collect plastic pollution has returned after weeks navigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Fast Company reports that after months of "research, failures and reconfigurations," The Ocean Cleanup’s device brought back 60 1-cubic-meter bags filled with plastic trash.
Now, the next step for the nonprofit is to recycle the materials into new, sustainable products. According to the report, The Ocean Cleanup is working with partners to create an infrastructure that can clean, sort and recycle the plastic it collected. The first batch of products is expected to launch in September 2020.
Fast Company has more information:
After months of research, failures, and reconfigurations, and weeks spent at sea traveling to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and back, The Ocean Cleanup’s device—a 2,000-foot long floating tube that skims the surface of the water to catch plastic trash—has returned to shore. And with it, it brought back 60 bags, sized one cubic meter, full of plastic trash, everything from fishing nets to plastic bags to microplastics one millimeter in size.
The end of the first voyage for The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch nonprofit that hopes to rid the world of ocean plastic, is the end of a long journey for founder and CEO Boyan Slat, who first presented the concept of his device at a TEDx talk in 2012, and has spent the last seven years designing, funding, and deploying it. Now that it’s actually working—pulling debris from the giant vortex of trash that has collected in the Pacific ocean—the next step for the organization is turning that plastic into sustainable products, so you can own a piece of the Garbage Patch and help fund future missions.