The Great Pacific Garbage Patch — the largest accumulation of ocean plastic on the planet — could soon be cleaned up thanks to a new device capable of collecting thousands of kilos of waste per trip.
Called System 002, and nicknamed 'Jenny', the device is the result of years of research by The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit that develops technologies to tackle ocean pollution. It is essentially a giant barrier that floats on the water's surface, using currents to capture plastic while allowing marine life to pass below.
This month the device hauled 9,000 kilograms of waste from the ocean in a single trip, passing its final testing phase and showing large scale ocean cleanup is within reach.
"October 8th, 2021: the final test extraction of System 002, and the moment we knew that cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is possible," The Ocean Cleanup wrote on their Instagram page.
Once the haul is back on deck, it is sorted into seperate waste streams and sent to recycling facilities to be turned into new products.
The Ocean Cleanup aims to deploy 10 of these devices to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The group also has the ambitious goal of removing 90 per cent of floating ocean plastic by 2040.
This story is a great reminder of the enormous impact that groups of passionate individuals can have as they harness technology to tackle seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges.
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.