The floating device goes through ocean trash ranging from anything as big as car wheel with tire to even chips of plastic measuring just 1mm.
At a time when it is the need of the hour to keep our oceans free from plastic pollution, a Dutch inventor and his team of scientists have decided to take matters into their own hands.
This comes courtesy of a huge floating device that has been designed to clean up trash left on the Pacific ocean. And finally, for the first time, the device was successful in picking up the plastic from the ocean. As reported by CNN.
The Dutch inventor, Boyan Slat is the founder of the Ocean Cleanup project. He took to Twitter to confirm that the free-floating device which is around 2,000ft had managed to get and retain debris from the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch'.
Our ocean cleanup system is now finally catching plastic, from one-ton ghost nets to tiny microplastics!— Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat) October 2, 2019
Also, anyone missing a wheel? pic.twitter.com/Oq0rkXO3TH
Alongside a picture of the collected rubbish, which includes a car wheel, Slat wrote on Twitter, posting a picture of the trash collected from the ocean. Surprisingly, it also included a car wheel:
“Our ocean cleanup system is now finally catching plastic, from one-ton ghost nets to tiny microplastics! Also, anyone missing a wheel?”
Boyan Slat on our update from our work in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. pic.twitter.com/HLrr8tQ96v— The Ocean Cleanup (@TheOceanCleanup) October 2, 2019
Slat has also claimed that the floating boom goes through ocean waste that ranges from anything as big as a car wheel with tire to even chips of plastic measuring just 1mm.
The system is designed in a way of a U-shaped barrier with a net-like skirt that is left underneath the surface of the water.
Very proud of The Ocean Cleanup team for getting to this important milestone today 💙 Onwards to the next step; a large scale, operational cleanup system! pic.twitter.com/1oSyEN113x— Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat) October 2, 2019
It manages to collect all the floating plastic as it moves with the current. It also allows fishes and other animals to swim beneath it, so there is no disruption to marine life.
And that's not all. There is also a parachute anchor that slows the system and increase the size of a cork line on top of the skirt to keep plastic from washing over it. This new addition came after last year, the floating device was put up on the ocean, however, it did not catch any trash in its first weeks of operation as it moved at the same pace as the plastic. As reported by TIME.
If correct, we need to do two things:— Hannah Ritchie (@_HannahRitchie) September 24, 2019
(1) stop plastic reaching the ocean – this is mainly a waste management issue.
(2) remove plastic already on our shorelines and in the ocean or it will continue to accumulate for decades to follow. pic.twitter.com/cg1ak8zA7V
"Today, I am very proud to share with you that we are now catching plastics," Ocean Cleanup CEO Slat said at a news conference in Rotterdam, reports CNN.
"We now have a self-contained system in the great pacific garbage patch that is using the natural forces of the ocean to passively catch and concentrate plastics, thereby confirming the most important principal behind the ocean cleanup system," Slat said.
In case you missed it, here is a short recap of our announcement today. pic.twitter.com/bGhrkty5W6— The Ocean Cleanup (@TheOceanCleanup) October 2, 2019
"Despite the early success of System 001/B, there is still much work to do. With new learnings and experience derived from the successful deployment of System 001/B, The Ocean Cleanup will now begin to design its next ocean cleanup system, System 002; a full-scale cleanup system that is able to both endure and retain the collected plastic for long periods of time," Ocean Cleanup said in a press release.
While we're out in the patch tweaking our cleanup system, we always try to opportunistically collect some extra ghost nets whenever we spot them. Usually pretty clear why they are the most harmful type of plastic pollution. pic.twitter.com/Aonl1eZTo2— Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat) September 21, 2019
"Once fully operational, The Ocean Cleanup will return plastic to land for recycling. The timing of that phase of the mission is contingent upon further testing and design iteration."
Could this change the way we deal with plastic pollution in the ocean? Only time can tell.