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29 tonnes of plastic waste fished out of the Pacific Ocean

In a test phase lasting several weeks, the organisation “The Ocean Cleanup” successfully collected tonnes of plastic on the ocean surface with its system “Jenny”.

The Ocean Cleanup prototype system.
The Ocean Cleanup prototype system.

“I think this is really a success for humanity,” Boyan Slat, initiator and director of “The Ocean Cleanup”, said in October 2021. For him, the successful test is proof that his technology can be used to clean the oceans of waste.

At the end of July, the revised System 002, nicknamed “Jenny”, set sail from Canada's west coast for the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. Scientists estimate that 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic collect in this current vortex in the Pacific. The rubbish catcher of “The Ocean Cleanup” is an 800-metre-long net construction that is slowly pulled through the water in a U-shape by two tugs. The plastic waste that collects in it is loaded onto the ships and recycled on land.

A whole fleet in the long term

According to the plans of “The Ocean Cleanup”, a fleet of ten cleaning systems, each 2500 metres long, will be in operation in the long term. Every five years, this should reduce the amount of rubbish in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by half.

The first rubbish collector was launched in 2018. However, the system was damaged and could not hold the rubbish as planned. There have been many failures in the development of the project, which is supported by companies and universities. There is also criticism about the effectiveness and sustainability.

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Written by sda
Photos by Keystone

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