The Ocean Cleanup project is ready to be executed. This will comprise redeploying its System 002 collection barrier along with the making of a larger fleet that will process 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years.
The System 002 was launched this year in August after 2013 when it was first introduced. The system was named Jenny, spanning 800 meters (2,640 ft), with crewed vessels at both ends, dragging the barrier through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
This trial was deemed a huge success, with the team claiming the exercise proved the viability of its ocean cleaning technology with a “massive haul.” The team declared that it was 28,659 kilograms (63,182 pounds) of plastic waste, including toilet seats, toothbrushes, discarded fishing gear, laundry baskets, sleds, and other items. 95 percent of the waste is expected to be recycled.
The CEO Boyan Slat claims it to be the “beginning of the end” for the notorious accumulation of floating trash. It is coming back to the area with System 002 to carry on with what it started earlier, officially committing to two six-week stints, but vying to not stop until “the patch is gone,” according to Slat.
Jenny will continue its operations. The new, larger system will be three times the size with a length of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles). It says this will serve as the blueprint for a fleet of 10 System 003s that will be able to clean 50 percent of the patch every five years.
However, the environmental impact and the viability of the project are still undetermined. It says Maersk, who provides the vessels to tow its systems, is experimenting with carbon-neutral fuels, and that all carbon emissions from the System 002 campaign will be offset.
The major problem is the sheer mass of plastic waste that is washing into the ocean, leading to millions of metric tons each year. River-based collection initiatives, including The Ocean Cleanup’s own system called The Interceptor, are helping to intervene in these streams of waste, but The Ocean Cleanup states that this issue needs to be resolved no matter what.