The Ocean Cleanup Makes Start in San Francisco Bay…Aiming Toward Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The nonprofit Ocean Cleanup, whose mission is to develop “advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic,” sent out its floating boom system from the San Francisco Bay on Saturday. The system, which was founded by Dutch inventor, Boyan Slat, is on a mission to clean up the nearly 1.8 trillion pieces of floating trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The floating boom system, along with dozens of other booms, is expected to take 5 years to clean up half the trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Each of the booms has the ability to collect up to 150,000 pounds of plastic per year.
What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch you ask? It is a vortex of trash that lies halfway between California and Hawaii that was created from an ocean gyre in the central North Pacific. The patch is so massive that is can be detected from space and covers 1.6 million square kilometers! Yikes….
The boom system will be towed out to the garbage patch in mid-October to begin its trash trapping. The floating boom drifts in conjunction with the local currents create a U-shaped formation. As it floats along, trash is collected in the U-shaped system that has 10 feet of netting below it to collect the smaller fragments of plastic. When the boom becomes full, a vessel meets the boom to collect the plastic and transport it back to land so that it can be sorted and recycled or reused.
Although the technology has got to prove itself in the open ocean, it would seem to be the closest solution to cleaning up the enormous garbage patch.
We are wishing it the best of luck and great success!
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