published on 26 June 2019 in water

Ocean Cleanup: after the failure, operations to clean plastic from the oceans have begun again

Ocean Cleanup has not given up and has gone back to sea after the failure. Boyan Slat, the young founder of the project has announced this. The floating barrier is now on its way towards the huge island of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Trash Vortex, located between California and Hawaii. The first prototype went into operation on 8 September 2018 and at the end of the year it was damaged by constant exposure to waves and wind. The loss of as section, approximately twenty metres long, forced a return to shore.

Ocean Cleanup at sea. Credits: theoceancleanup.com

After leaving San Francisco Bay on 8 September 2018, the barrier was tested for four months, but the data collected were not encouraging. Indeed, the beginning was not very promising, because besides the loss of a section of barrier, the initial tests did not produce the expected results. The system moves too slowly to trap the plastic inside it, allowing it to be scattered in the ocean once again. Moreover, the system as it is designed, may not stand up to the strong impact of the waves and winds of the Pacific Ocean, ending up by being destroyed and scattered in the environment.
Boyan Slat has not given up: he and his team will continue the tests and the system will be improved and strengthened to better respond to the challenges to which nature subjects it.

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