The Ocean Cleanup Project, established in 2013, aims to extricate as much plastic waste as possible from ocean water. The team has been at work for years on trash-catching barriers capable of collecting plastic waste from the surface of the ocean.
The team has recently installed its first large-scale system designed to clean up ocean plastics to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The 800-meter-long system, known as System002 or Jenny, left Victoria, British Columbia, last Month onboard a Maersk offshore supply vessel. “Jenny” is a comparatively larger project with many new technologies.
Jenny is deployed in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the first time this week and will have more than 70 separate tests over the coming 60 weeks. The tests are planned to demonstrate the effective operation of the structure and demonstrate that the device does not have any adverse effect on the environment. However, tests showed that the design wasn’t quite up to the mark, and the system tried hard to maintain the necessary speeds to collect the waste.
Therefore, the team has added a parachute designed to slow down the barrier and maintain a constant speed. At either point of the U-shaped barrier, the crewed vessels use active propulsion to tow it through the water at a steady speed of 1.5 knots. The collected plastic is funnelled into a retention zone at the far end, and one benefit of having it towed by crewed vessels is that it can be steered towards areas of high waste concentration.
According to the Ocean Cleanup Project, one of the many benefits of this design is that it will be more commercially viable to scale up.
With so much plastic pouring into the oceans each day, this project uses it to create products that help raise funds for its efforts. Jenny is a significant step toward the Ocean Cleanup Project’s goal of removing 90 percent of ocean plastic by 2040.