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The Great Ocean Cleanup finally passes trials

The Great Ocean Cleanup finally passes trials

On Wednesday, October 20th, The Great Ocean Cleanup welcomes back the offshore crew after a successful 12-week testing campaign in the Pacific and the real work begins

The image above is the final test extraction of System 002, and the moment the crew knew that cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was possible. It took just 3 days to extract 9 metric tons of garbage.

After less than successful initial trials, System 002 is the ocean cleanup’s latest iteration of the project, featuring a large-scale cleanup system. it works by dragging a tensioned, 800 metre long artificial coastline through areas of the ocean where plastic has accumulated.

The new system works with two vessels pulling on each end of the System 002, resulting in a U-shaped flexible barrier that collects the floating plastics into a retention zone. The vessels move at about 0.75 meters per second, creating an artificial coastline that spans up to 1800 metres.

This system differentiates from the past attempts because it uses the horseshoe-shaped jenny to tow it along instead of letting the system float and be moved by the wind.

Buoyant plastic can travel 120,000 miles

The Great Ocean CleanUp's research team has used some of their ocean plastic learnings to develop an interactive plastic tracker to help us better understand plastic pollution and visualize for ourselves where plastic ends up in the next 20 years.

On the map, you simply pick a place, press enter, and see where a piece of abandoned plastic in this location could end up in the oceans. You can follow it as it travels inland towards the shore and the open ocean. You will also get a probability of that plastic piece ending up in waterways, depending on where it was released.

Top polluting rivers

You can also visit The Great Ocean CleanUp's interactive map of the world's rivers to see the approximately 1,000 rivers that are accountable for nearly 80 percent of the global plastic emissions, which range from 0.8 - 2.7 million metric tons per year. (The remaining 20 percent comes from around 30,000 rivers.)

The Great Ocean CleanUp recently announced a partnership with Coca-Cola to build the Interceptors for the River Project to clean up the top polluting rivers - thereby stopping plastic getting to the oceans in the first place. 

The World Counts - Plastic in our Oceans

According to The World Counts, the plastic soup that is our oceans has been growing 10 times in size every decade since the 1950s. In the North Pacific Gyre, marine samples show plastics outweigh plankton by 6:1. Fish and shellfish contain toxic chemicals at concentrations as high as nine million times those found in the water in which they swim.

Notice all the plastic around you and simply don't use it if you simply don't need to.

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