A system for cleaning plastic from the ocean is set to be deployed in 2016, and, at a span of 2,000 meters or 6,560 feet, will be the largest floating structure on our oceans. This environmental initiative is being styled as “the largest clean up in history.”
Our world has a big problem with plastic, as millions of tons of the material is said to be present in our oceans. The Ocean Cleanup is a project that hopes to address the problem through the use of floating barriers to catch debris. The barriers use ocean currents to their advantage, and the method shows potential to extract almost half of the plastic in the North Pacific garbage patch in 10 years – faster (and reportedly more cost effective) than other available methods.
The Ocean Cleanup was founded and is helmed by a visionary 20-year-old named Boyan Slat. He recently announced the system’s targeted deployment in the second quarter of 2016, while speaking at the largest tech conference in Asia, the Seoul Digital Forum held in South Korea. At a span of 2,000 meters, the system is set to trump the record of the Tokyo Mega-Float as the largest floating structure to hit the ocean.
The Ocean Cleanup will be busy with a more immediate project this year, however. In August 2015, they are planning a “mega expedition” involving 50 vessels on a mission to measure how much trash is in the ocean between California and Hawaii. The scale of the operation could make it “the largest research expedition in history.” The organization is recruiting boat owners in the United States who wish to be involved.
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Laursen, Wendy. “Cleanup Device Will Be World’s Largest Floating Structure.” The Maritime Executive, 29 May 2015. Web. 08 Jun 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/cleanup-device-will-be-worlds-largest-floating-structure
Lewis, Renee. “World’s first ocean system targeting plastic pollution to launch in 2016.” America.Aljazeera.com, 29 May 2015. Web. 08 Jun 2015. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/5/29/first-ocean-cleanup-system-to-be-deployed.html
The Ocean Cleanup Website. Accessed 08 Jun 2015. http://www.theoceancleanup.com/
“World’s first ocean cleaning system to be deployed in 2016.” Mysailing.com.au, 20 May 2015. Web. 08 Jun 2015. http://www.mysailing.com.au/news/world-s-first-ocean-cleaning-system-to-be-deployed-in-2016