Ocean Cleanup has a massive responsibility to clean the seas from plastic waste. A new video shows a compelling look at its latest method for doing so. The animation shows massive trash-collection barriers sweeping through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with great efficiency, with the company envisioning that 10 of these systems would be enough to put a serious dent in the problem.
After first introducing the idea back in 2013, The Ocean Cleanup team has developed and tested several iterations of its giant trash-collecting barriers. Its plans involve deploying these in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to collect plastic waste, and last year proved the feasibility of this approach with a huge haul.
It is currently transitioning from the System 002 barrier used in that early operational mission to a much larger System 003. These new U-shaped barriers will measure 2,500 m (8,200 ft) long and will be towed by boats, using a 4-m-deep (13-ft) skirt to funnel plastic waste from the surface into a collection chamber. This waste is pulled onto support vessels and taken back to shore.
The Ocean Cleanup is transitioning to a larger System 003, which it says will make its operations more efficient and economical, with a lower cost per kilogram of plastic waste removed from the waters. According to its latest projections, 10 barriers based on the System 003 design would be sufficient to scoop up 100,000 tons of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.