Watch as the Ocean Cleanup tackles the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

It turns out our oceans can be cleaned.
Loukia Papadopoulos
System 003.jpg
System 003

The Ocean Cleanup 

The Ocean Cleanup has released a new video showing how it is tackling the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with outstanding efficiency. The video stars the non-profit’s powerful machines and states that 10 of these systems would be enough to put a serious dent in the oceanic garbage problem.

Tackling the garbage island

The company was first introduced in 2013, and its goal was to tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an oceanic accumulation of trash so large it is often referred to as a garbage island.

At twice the size of Texas, it is considered the world’s largest zone of ocean plastics and is estimated to contain up to 1.8 trillion pieces of debris. But that number is decreasing quickly.

The Ocean Cleanup has made many great strides since it first introduced its trash-gobbling machines. It is currently transitioning from its System 002 barrier used in the beginning of its journey to a much larger System 003, which will also be more efficient in collecting plastic at a rate up to 10 times faster than System 002.

These new machines will be U-shaped and measure 8,200 ft ( 2,500 m) long. They will be towed by boats, using a 13-ft-deep (4-m) skirt to funnel plastic trash from the ocean into a chamber that will be emptied once back on shore.

In 2018, the organization described its machine as a giant Pac-Man. "Due to its shape, the debris will be funneled to the center of the system. Moving slightly faster than the plastic, the system will act like a giant Pac-Man, skimming the surface of the ocean," said a press release at the time.

The Ocean Cleanup has set a goal to reduce plastics in the oceans by 90 percent by 2040 through a two-pronged strategy. One is the development of System 003. (This newly developed system will also serve as a blueprint for the fleet of clean-up systems the non-profit plans to build in the future.)

Preventing is better than curing

The other is the prevention of dumping plastic debris into the oceans in the first place. For this, the organization is developing and testing interceptor designs across river systems to help stop plastic debris before it even reaches the oceans.

The company achieved its first major success in 2019. At the time, founder Boyan Slat said: “After beginning this journey seven years ago, this first year of testing in the unforgivable environment of the high seas strongly indicates that our vision is attainable and that the beginning of our mission to rid the ocean of plastic garbage, which has accumulated for decades, is within our sights.”

However, if you are curious about System 003 and want to see it in action, then you must watch the firm’s latest video. It artfully depicts the machine’s incredible work at cleaning up trash from the ocean.

Watching the debris be collected and funneled to a safe location for efficient disposal gives much hope that our oceans can indeed be cleaned. This is a much needed sight for sore eyes and for anyone concerned with pollution and ocean care.