Boyan Slat, creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, has announced that the floating collection boom located in the Pacific Ocean has successfully gathered plastic waste.
The collection boom is located in the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a confluence of ocean currents, or gyre, which collects plastic and other waste in this concentrated area.
In a video released on Twitter, Slat said: “We now have a self-contained system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is using the natural forces of the ocean to passively catch and concentrate plastics, thereby confirming the most important principle behind the Ocean Cleanup system.”
Positioned midway between Hawaii and California, the system uses a 600m, U-shaped boom to collect the waste. Under the floating pontoons which make up the boom are a series of nets which reach 3m below the surface to collect material.
As reported by PRW earlier this year, this is the second version of the system. The first suffered stress cracks due to wave motion and storms.
Solar-powered lights, cameras and satellite communications help the support vessel with locating the boom. The plan is to scale up the boom so it can collect and store waste for up to a year between collection runs.
It is hoped that the Ocean Cleanup system can play a significant role in removing the collected plastic waste in the Pacific, which is estimated to represent 1.8tn pieces.