If you’ve been following environmental news over the past few years, you’ve likely heard stories of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that circulates at sea formed from decades of plastic debris. A few years ago, an ambitious start-up, the Ocean Clean-Up Project, launched with the goal of removing 90% of the plastic waste floating in the ocean by 2040. Although the project took a few years to launch its prototype fleet of autonomous cleaning vehicles, a recent test run has proved the viability of the project as a whole, when one of their vehicles successfully removed 20-tons of waste. Those 20 tons are only a third of the total 65 tons that were removed during the prototype phase.
October 8th, 2021: the final test extraction of System 002, and the moment we knew that cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is possible. pic.twitter.com/79e1SiNz4h
— The Ocean Cleanup (@TheOceanCleanup) October 11, 2021
The CEO of the Ocean Project tweeted this in response to the success of the final test run:
20000 lbs was just a single haul, total for test campaign is ~64000 lbs. But goal of past weeks was data collection, not plastic collection. That’ll change after next week… https://t.co/U42tBqcesj
— Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat) October 16, 2021
To learn more about the Ocean Cleanup Project head to their website, here!
For more information on the successful testing phase, check out this article from Business Insider!