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published on 7 October 2019 in energy

Ocean Cleanup, the ocean cleaning system works!

The Dutch NGO Ocean Cleanup has announced that, after a year of tests and following changes made after the failure at the end of 2018, System 001/B is performing its task excellently, collecting plastic waste of all kinds and sizes, from microplastics to ghost nets.  After a year of tests, the organisation’s engineers have succeeded in developing an autonomous system, that uses the natural forces of the ocean to capture and concentrate the plastic passively.

The machinery called System 001/B, also known as “Wilson”, makes use of ocean currents to collect plastic waste. Credits: Ocean Cleanup

System 001/B is the second prototype, which left Vancouver last June, after the first, System 001, suffered a failure caused by constant exposure to waves and wind. The goal was the same: to gradually reduce the size of the largest island of floating plastic on our planet: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (or Pacific Trash Vortex). “After beginning this journey seven years ago, this first year of testing strongly indicates that our vision is attainable and that the beginning of our mission to rid the ocean of plastic garbage is within our sights,” said Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of Ocean Cleanup.

The next step, announced the young Dutch entrepreneur, is to design new machinery, System 002, able to clean up vast areas of sea and trap the plastic collected for long periods of time, until it can be taken back to land for recycling.

With the sponsorship of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research
 
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