You might have probably heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a floating pile of debris between Hawaii and California which is huge enough to cover the state of Texas.
Boyan Slat, a Dutch inventor and the founder of The Ocean Cleanup, hopes to get rid of this garbage patch. Not just this, he is also hoping to get rid of the plastic in the oceans around the world.
On the 8th of September, the Ocean Cleanup will make an attempt to launch its first cleanup system inside the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It would be casting off from Alameda, California. The system is a huge U-shaped barrier that will float in the ocean itself. It would aim trapping of the plastic and debris that floats into the ocean.
Slat said that engineering something to survive in the ocean certainly has been a pretty big challenge for them.
Slat, the genius behind the idea is only 24. He described where the idea for the system came from. He said that if you look at the coastline, it is actually a very effective way of collecting plastic, so that’s why it is a good idea to build their own coastline.
Slat said that The Ocean Cleanup, has raised about $35 million through individual donors including the CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff. The Ocean Cleanup is a non profit organization.
The team needs to make this successful first then ultimately aim to deploy 60 systems around the world, Slat added. The plastics and materials which would be gathered from these systems could be recycled and then re-sold. This can make the systems fund themselves one day.
If anyone wants to catch the glimpse of this barrier on its way out to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, they can see it departing from Alameda this Saturday, heading under the Bay Bridge around noon time and then under the Golden Gate Bridge at around 2 p.m.
While environmentalists are really happy for the clean up efforts, many have stressed the importance of prevention of plastic waste and shown concern about the effect the device might have on marine wildlife.
Scoop Cube feels that exploring new ideas and technologies to clean up ocean pollution is extremely laudable and it would definitely succeed in removing at least some of the waste if not all. However, prevention is much better than cure and in order to handle the crisis of pollution, corporations need to stop producing so much of plastic.