This Dutch Company is Developing Technology To Clean Up Plastic Waste in the Oceans

Dutch company The Ocean Cleanup is developing innovative method of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a large area in the North Pacific Ocean known for accumulation of plastic marine debris.


The Ocean Cleanup’s method is based on the passive cleanup technology, feasibility of which was proved by the study that covers results of the extensive scientific research in such areas as engineering, oceanography, ecology, maritime law, finance and recycling. The results of the feasibility study showed that the method developed by the company will allow to clean up almost half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years.


The Ocean Cleanup’s technology consists of the system of long floating barriers that are attached to the seabed and allow the ocean currents to passively gather the plastic.


Image credit: Erwin Zwart/The Ocean Cleanup


Here is how this process is described on the company’s website: “By mooring the V-shaped array of floating barrier, thereby keeping it in place, it will act almost like a horizontal funnel; wind and surface currents will push plastics further and further into the array until the plastics will be drawn into the collection platform.”



Image credit: Erwin Zwart/The Ocean Cleanup


As it’s described further, “The plastic will be stored in an internal buffer within the platform at the tip of the V-shaped array. The plastic in the buffer will regularly be emptied onto a vessel that comes to collect it for transport to land.”


Image credit: Erwin Zwart/The Ocean Cleanup


The Ocean Cleanup keeps testing the physical properties of the system and its reaction to loads and forces in both simulated and real ocean environments.


In August 2015, The Ocean Cleanup team carried out a Mega Expedition that covered a 3,500 000 km2 area between Hawaii and California to accurately determine how much plastic is floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.


Currently, The Ocean Cleanup is preparing a series of scale model pilots in order to strengthen and improve the design of the array. The installation of The Ocean Cleanup in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is scheduled for 2020.


Boyan Slat, CEO of The Ocean Cleanup who founded the company when he was 18, has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Intel EYE50) and was crowned 2014 Champion of the Earth, the United Nations' highest environmental accolade.


Boyan Slat


For more details about the company, click here.


by Natalie Myhalnytska


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