See The 2,000Ft Ocean Cleanup System Hit The Waters

By

Nov. 19 2020, Updated 9:40 p.m. ET

After years of testing and millions in funding, the Dutch enterprise The Ocean Cleanup set its first trash collection system out to sea. System 001, as it’s known, traveled across the San Francisco Bay on Saturday, September 8, in preparation for its eventual journey onto the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

Article continues below advertisement

The entire event was livestreamed on YouTube, with lots of commentary from Ocean Cleanup staffers, including project manager Henk van Dalen.

"I'm an extremely happy man," van Dalen says in the livestream. "What's going on over here really is years of preparation by the whole team... Now, it's all coming together."

Article continues below advertisement

The Ocean Cleanup system relies on an elaborate series of tubing, which is bent into a massive U shape when in use. A 10ft “skirt” hangs underneath this tubing and traps plastic trash that floats along with the current. The goal is to tow these tubes and skirt out into the Pacific Ocean with a ship, then park it at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the massive trash heap that’s been polluting the waters for decades. 

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

Crew members aboard the ship can collect trash from the skirt and ship back to the mainland for recycling. A garbage ship will scoop up this recycling every 6-8 weeks, according to USA Today.

The team hopes to cut the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in half after five years, but it’ll take a lot more than System 001 to do that. The Ocean Cleanup plans to scale up to 60 “systems,” building out an entire fleet of plastic-trapping devices to get the job done.

Article continues below advertisement

The launch of System 001 is the crucial first step in this strategy. After 2-3 weeks of testing are complete, it’ll sail on to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where it can finally start chipping away at this massive monument to ocean pollution. It’s a long-held dream for 24-year-old founder Boyan Slat, who’s been working on the concept since he was a teenager, and environmentalists the world over who want cleaner, healthier oceans.

Advertisement
More from Green Matters

More From Green Matters

  • Elephants Found Dead in India
    News
    18 Dead Elephants Found in India — but by Lightning or Poison?
  • Covering Adoption Fees
    News
    This Dog Wellness Startup Might Reimburse Your 2020 Pet Adoption Fees
  • Celebrity Wellness
    News
    Wellness Apps Started by Celebs, From Chris Hemsworth to Carrie Underwood
  • forever chemicals breast milk
    News
    What Are Forever Chemicals? Study Finds PFAS in 100 Percent of Breast Milk Samples
  • CONNECT with Green Matters
  • Link to Facebook
  • Link to Twitter
  • Link to Instagram
  • Link to Email Subscribe
Green Matters Logo
Do Not Sell My Personal Information

© Copyright 2021 Green Matters. Green Matters is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.