Billed as the largest clean up in history, System 001 (the first of an estimated 60) is a revolutionary non-profit system devised by the Dutch inventor Boyan Slat and his team of the Ocean Clean Up to rid our oceans of the estimated 5 trillion plus pieces of litter that float in our waters.
Much of our ocean litter accumulates in 5 ‘ gyres’ known as garbage patches. The gyres are areas of spiralling currents carried by the tides and winds. The Ocean Clean Up’s system deploys these currents to its advantage with a 600 m floating pipe that moves with the current to capture plastic. There is a 3m tapered skirt below the pipe that is able to capture the plastic due to the U shape it forms from the pressure of the ocean currents.
For more detailed information on how it works click the link above.
In early September this year the first system launched in to the San Francisco bay to capture plastic in one of the largest gyres – The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is estimated that once the systems are fully deployed that 50% of the Pacific Garbage Patch could be cleaned up within 5 years. It is also envisaged that if more systems are deployed we could be looking at plastic free oceans by 2050.
The recovered plastic is brought back to land by ships that act as garbage trucks of the seas where it is then sold for onward recycling to come back to a further life as a phone, bottle etc. The plan is that the system becomes fully sustainable being able to sell what it recovers. This is an amazing concept. Watch as it develops. Check out the link below