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Ocean Cleanup system gets to work

18/10/2018
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It’s been a long journey for the Ocean Cleanup Project. Literally. Following years of development and a 1,300-mile journey across open seas, the system has now been installed at the location of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The Ocean Cleanup system has sailed 1,300 miles of open water to reach its operational location in the Pacific.
(Image via The Ocean Cleanup).

With over 5 trillion pieces of plastic estimated to be currently littering the world’s oceans, the Ocean Cleanup Project has been set up to tackle the problem using advanced technologies.
The Ocean Cleanup Project aims to have an impact on the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic waste in the world's oceans.
(Image via The Ocean Cleanup).

The system consists of a 600-metre-long float that sits on the surface of the water coupled to a 3-metre-deep skirt which sits below the water line. The float both provides buoyancy for the system and prevents plastic waste washing over the system. The skirt prevents plastic waste from passing beneath the system.
The Ocean Cleanup system relies upon natural forces to help it move across the ocean collecting plastic waste.
(Image via The Ocean Cleanup).

The system is carried along by the current, collecting loose plastic waste as it passes by. Fitted with multiple electronics and instrumentation, the Ocean Cleanup system can store and transfer large amounts of data to ensure that it does not drift into sea traffic.
The Ocean Cleanup system utilises multiple sensors to provide data to the research team onshore.
(Image via The Ocean Cleanup).

The first target of the system is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is an area of the Pacific Ocean which researchers have estimated contains as many as 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing a total of 80,000 metric tons (the same as 500 jumbo jets), covering an read of 1.6 million sq km (617,000 sq mi) which is an area around three times the size of continental France. 
If successful, the Ocean Cleanup system could remove half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years.
(Image via The Ocean Cleanup).

The team behind the project believe that if successful, the system could remove half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years.
The team behind Ocean Cleanup hope to deploy a further 60 systems over the next 2 years.
(Image via The Ocean Cleanup).

With the system now successfully installed at the patch the team will now be undertaking intensive monitoring and testing to see how efficient and viable the system is under real world conditions. If all goes to plan, the team hopes to deploy a fleet of 60 systems over the coming two years in garbage hot spots around the globe.

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Tags: Engineering
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Ocean Cleanup system gets to work - Time to read 2 min
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