World’s Largest Ocean Cleanup System Launched last Week

Image via The Ocean Cleanup/Twitter

Boyan Slat is a 24-year-old Dutch inventor and CEO of the non-profit entity, The Ocean Cleanup. The organization’s mission is to develop advanced technologies to remove the world’s ocean plastic.

Since 2015, the world is following the progress of the Ocean Cleanup that aims to get rid the world’s largest patch of garbage, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. After years of testing and research, it is now ready to launch the system and start the Pacific cleanup.

The invention is composed of an almost 2,000-foot-long tube that floats on the water with a 10-foot tapered skirt attached to it to prevent debris from escaping. The water currents will naturally carry the system and as the tube curves, it will accumulate garbage in the center for easy removal. Every few months, a vessel can go retrieve the trash for sorting and recycling. This simple plan is proven to be effective in testing and now that the system has surpassed its last tests for seaworthiness, it’s finally ready to take on its actual mission.

The Ocean Cleanup system was launched on September 8, from its assembly yard to San Francisco Bay and towards the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It should take around 3.5 hours to enter the Pacific Ocean, at which point its last destination will be around 1,000 marine miles away. After the launch, Slat and his team’s next goal would be cleaning up half of the Patch in the next five years.