Ocean Cleanup System: The First Prototype That Would Clear The Ocean Of Trash

First Posted: Jun 29, 2016 08:57 AM EDT

An 'Ocean Cleanup' system that is 100-meter-long prototype was installed last week in the North Sea, which is more than 14 miles off the Dutch coast, aims to catch the trash in the waters. This is the first ocean cleanup system ever tested at sea.

The prototype will be there for one year. This is to determine how it would handle the extreme weather at sea wherein it is a condition it will face when implemented in the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch." It uses long floating barriers that would passively catch ocean debris. Its system is empowered by the ocean's natural currents, according to PC Mag.

In one year test, the system may catch trash. On the other hand, it is not its goal to collect plastic at this time. Its sensors will track the prototype's every move and the loads to which it is subjected. The engineers will use the data to harden the system to make it resistant to the severe weather condition it will face in the cleanup of the trash vortex in the central North Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, Boyan Slat, the Ocean Cleanup CEO and Founder stated that there is a 30 percent chance that the system will break, but either way, it will be a good test. He further said that a successful outcome of this test should put them on track to implement the first operational pilot system in late 2017.

Sharon Dijksma, the Dutch Environment Minister said that the Ocean Cleanup is an inspiring example of how they can tackle the growing problem of ocean pollution. She hopes that with the help of the Dutch government, Boyan's prototype will turn out to be the successful solution for cleaning up the mid-ocean gyres. She further said that this is crucial to prevent permanent damage to the environment and marine life, due to the dilapidation and fragmentation of plastic waste materials.

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