Ocean Cleanup removes 200,000 kilograms of plastic from the Pacific Ocean

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is situated between California and Hawaii. 
Mrigakshi Dixit
System 002 deployed at the patch.
System 002 deployed at the patch.

The Ocean Cleanup 

The Ocean Cleanup is on a mission to remove plastic waste from the ocean. 

This restoration project recently passed another major milestone. As per the Twitter post, the non-profit organization has removed up to 200,000 kilograms of plastic debris from the North Pacific Ocean. It is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) and is situated between California and Hawaii. 

This feat was accomplished on Trip 13 during the first cleaning deployment of 2023.

During the organization's first waste extraction drive of the year, it was able to extract 6,260 kilograms of waste from a large pile of floating plastics, which included everything from large fishing nets to tiny microplastics. According to a study, over 75 percent of the garbage patch consists of fishing-related plastic waste.

Waste removal was made possible by specially designed cleaning systems known as System 002, as well as other equipment. The system also includes AI-powered cameras that continuously scan the ocean's surface in search of plastic waste.

To collect waste, they use a long, u-shaped barrier. To protect marine wildlife, the system moves slowly beneath the ocean and minimizes noise. The monitoring data provided by the company revealed a "low adverse impact of System 002 on marine life over the first 12 trips."

But what happens after the waste is collected? The company answered in a Twitter post: “We want to give ocean plastic a new life by working with partners to recycle and transform it into durable plastic products.” In fact, the organization launched "The Ocean Cleanup Sunglasses", its first product made from plastic waste in October 2020.

Boyan Slat, a Dutch inventor, launched this one-of-a-kind project in 2013. The North Pacific Ocean was chosen specifically because it receives a large amount of plastic waste from Asia, South America, and North America. 

Containing 1,800 billion garbage pieces

The garbage patch, three times the size of France, contains 1,800 billion garbage pieces weighing an average of 80 million kilograms. 

This recently achieved milestone is only a drop in the ocean. By 2040, the company hopes to have cleaned up 90 percent of the floating plastics in the ocean. They are also working on System 3, a 2.4km (1.49 mile) long massive barrier to fasten the cleaning-up process.

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