Once fully operational, the company will return plastic to
land for recycling. Timing of that phase of the mission is contingent upon
further testing and design iteration, the Ocean Cleanup said.
The move comes on the back of the successful deployment of
System 001/B, which is passively capturing and collecting plastic debris of all
sizes by using the natural forces of the ocean.
Launched from Vancouver in June, System 001/B is the Ocean
Cleanup’s second attempt to prove its concept of collecting garbage from the
Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation zone of plastic in the
In addition to collecting plainly visible pieces of plastic
debris, as well as much larger ghost nets associated with commercial fishing,
the latest system has also “successfully captured microplastics as small as 1mm
– a feat the team was pleasantly surprised to achieve.”
“After beginning this journey seven years ago, this first
year of testing in the unforgivable environment of the high seas strongly
indicates that our vision is attainable and that the beginning of our mission
to rid the ocean of plastic garbage, which has accumulated for decades, is
within our sights,” Boyan Slat, the Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO, explained.
“Our team has remained steadfast in its determination to
solve immense technical challenges to arrive at this point. Though we still
have much more work to do, I am eternally grateful for the team’s commitment
and dedication to the mission and look forward to continuing to the next phase