It’s ready to greet the first revolutionary machine to clean the oceans from the plastic!
The machine will be directed to the Pacific Trash Vortex where it will begin to collect tons of plastic waste accumulated by ocean currents.
Boyan Slat‘s vision has become a reality. It’s been five years since Slat, just nineteen, left his studies in aerospace engineering to focus on his mission, cleaning the oceans out of plastic. The Dutch boy prodigy founded the NGO Ocean Cleanup and designed a machine to collect plastic waste from the sea using ocean currents. After a feasibility study and a successful fundraising campaign, the machinery called Ocean Array Cleanup is ready to be tested.
The passive systems are estimated to remove half the Great Pacific Garbagepatch in just five years, and at a fraction of the cost. The first cleanup system will be deployed in the summer of 2018.
How it works?
Create a coastline where there are none
The system consists of a 600-meter-long floater that sits at the surface of the water and a tapered 3-meter-deep skirt attached below. The floater provides buoyancy to the system and prevents plastic from flowing over it, while the skirt stops debris from escaping underneath.
Take advantage of natural oceanic forces
Both the plastic and system are being carried by the current. However, wind and waves propel only the system, as the floater sits just above the water surface, while the plastic is primarily just beneath it. The system thus moves faster than the plastic, allowing the plastic to be captured.
The floating systems are designed to capture plastics ranging from small pieces just millimeters in size, up to large debris, including massive discarded fishing nets (ghost nets), which can can be tens of meters wide.
Models show that a full-scale cleanup system roll-out (a fleet of approximately 60 systems) could clean 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years.
After fleets of systems are deployed into every ocean gyre, combined with source reduction, The Ocean Cleanup projects to be able to remove 90% of ocean plastic by 2040.
Protecting the natural environment is at the heart of what we are planning. It is the engine of the unexpected for large amounts of plastic pollution from the world’s oceans. Thus, safeguarding marine life has been the main driver of this technology.
The system has been designed and tested to withstand the forces of the ocean. During the design of the structure, load cases were considered that should occur only once every hundred years.
The key to survival is flexibility. The system has been designed to be agile enough to be able to follow the waves and, because the system is floating, it can drift if subjected to high current speeds.