The world's largest ocean clean-up is ongoing in the Pacific Ocean, with the goal of collecting up to 150,000 pounds of trash in its first year and eventually addressing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization led by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, deployed its ambitious $ 20 million system on Saturday from San Francisco Bay for several weeks before it is officially launched.
The project placed a 2,000-foot unmanned floating boom in the water, designed to curve in the shape of a U as the currents push it, and as Pac-Man & # 39; It eats garbage and keeps it inside its structure.
The largest ocean cleanup effort in the world was launched on Saturday by the non-profit Ocean Cleanup. The $ 20 million system of the organization represented above
The non-profit organization establishes an unmanned floating boom 2,000 feet in height that will curve in a U-shape as it is pushed by the currents and as & # 39; Pac-Man & # 39; swallow the plastic floating in the ocean
Within five years, the organization expects the boom, called System 001, to clean half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an amazing pile of floating waste between California and Hawaii made up of approximately 1.8 billion pieces of waste and at least 87,000. of plastic, according to the New York Times.
The garbage is so massive that it is detectable from space satellites that extend for 1.6 million square kilometers.
The boom has been towed to a site and will undergo two weeks of testing.
After the boom picks up the trash, a boat will meet the structure and collect the plastic, then transport it to land to sort and recycle it.
If all goes well, the boom will take the garbage patch, which is almost 1,400 miles from the coast, in mid-October.
Ocean Cleanup is run by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, 24, who believes that technology will "eliminate the world's plastic oceans".
The cleaning device, coined System 001, in the image above in the water of Alameda, California. On Saturday, the device was deployed outside of San Francisco Bay
Exit: a boat towed the floating garbage collection device to the Pacific Ocean
The 001 system aims to remove plastic from the oceans by attacking the Great Pacific Garbage patch between California and Hawaii.
The company posted photos of its trial version on Saturday, writing: "Clear blue sky and calm water, perfect conditions for the first installation of System 001 on the test site. The Pacific testing phase has begun. "
Ocean Cleanup was founded in 2013 by Slat, who was only 18 at the time. Now that he is 24 years old, he hopes that the technology will eliminate the world's plastic oceans & # 39;
On Saturday he said: "I have definitely never had as much confidence in the chances of success as I am today."
The test is of utmost importance since it is the first time that the boom in the open sea is tested, subject to strong winds, corrosive salt water and other environmental obstacles.
In addition, it will reveal possible complications that could not be predicted in the simulation models.
& # 39; And for me, this is where I think my greatest anxiety lies at this moment. In the first place, it's something that we really have not been able to prove very well, "Slat said in a Facebook video published two weeks ago, about the system's ability to collect and maintain plastic.
The arm is designed to trap plastic in its U-shaped curve and also has an impenetrable mesh skirt 10 feet deep to trap debris that float underwater.
The workers stop outside the floating system 001, in the photo above, which costs $ 20 million
The 001 system will undergo a two-week trial period. If successful, within five years I could clear half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a map of debris floating in the ocean in the photo above
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an impressive pile of floating rubbish between California and Hawaii, consisted of approximately 1.8 billion fragments of scattered detritus and at least 87,000 plastic
The arm is designed to trap plastic in its U-shaped curve and also has an impenetrable mesh skirt 10 feet deep to catch the debris that floats underwater.
The net is designed to be short so that fish can swim under it.
"There is a concern that plastic can not be removed without eliminating marine life at the same time We know from the fishing industry that if we put any type of structure in the open ocean, it acts as a fish aggregation device", said Ocean Conservancy Chief Scientist George Leonard to the Times.
The Ocean Cleanup system is the first of its kind and the company's first effort to clean up the garbage patch on a large scale.
The non-profit organization is backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff, according to Forbes.