2,000-Foot-Long ‘Ocean Cleanup’ Launches to Trap Pacific Ocean Plastic

Ocean Cleanup (Josh Edelson / Getty)
Josh Edelson / Getty

The 2,000-foot-long “Ocean Cleanup” launched Saturday in San Francisco and headed out to sea underneath the Golden Gate Bridge in a test run of a new effort to remove giant patches of floating plastic garbage in the Pacific Ocean and elsewhere.

USA Today explained the design:

The hope is that the vessel, the first of a planned fleet or 60 or more, can strain out the millions of pounds of plastic trash that collects in slow-moving ocean whirlpools called gyres, which can be hundreds of miles across.

Once in place, the Ocean Cleanup, dubbed System 001,  is deployed. The passive system’s floating series of connected booms naturally form into a broad U-shape. Below the booms, a 9-foot skirt gently corrals the plastic trash that contaminates our seas.

Currents and waves push trash into the machine’s center to collect it. Floating particles are captured by the net while the push of water against the net propels fish and other marine life under and beyond.

A garbage ship then is sent out to scoop up the collected trash and transport it to shore for recycling.

The BBC explained that the not-for-profit project is the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat, who conceived the cleanup while diving off the coast of Greece as a teenager and being disgusted by floating plastic trash in the water.

The Ocean Cleanup is focused on the “Great Garbage Patch” in the Pacific, where currents have pushed garbage from across the ocean together in one giant floating blob. The goal is to cut the size of the blob in half every five years until it is gone by 2040.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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