Has it been smooth sailing? No. But, The Ocean Cleanup has now completed its first successful mission to collect plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!
There's nothing like that moment when you realize for the first time that you're catching plastic. Find out more about its destination on December 12th pic.twitter.com/HrCG9M3QXn
— The Ocean Cleanup (@TheOceanCleanup) December 3, 2019
The team are now back on the shores of Vancouver showing off their ‘catch’. The idea is that the rubbish they have receovered can now be repurposed into new plastic goods. With all profits then going back into the cleaup operation and the development of the companies second generation design.
We covered Ocean Cleanups first mission last year; however when the team arrived at the site of their huge floating booms they found their system had ruptured. The team were forced to bring it back to shore for repairs at the start of 2019.
After engineers at Ocean Cleanup modified their initial design the booms were redployed last summer and the team confirmed the system was working as intended in October.
This latest mission represents the first proper demonstration of large scale passive rubbish collection in the Pacfic. This first catch has include everything from massive ‘ghost nets’ to millimeter scale microplastics.
The team are now set to work on recycling this first set of plastics. Creating products made exclusively from recovered ocean plastic. The team hope to overcome a number of technical challenges and bring the first of these sustainable products to market in late 2020.
Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat explained that the team is now “welcoming the first catch of plastic on land is the moment we have been looking forward to for years [… and] I believe we can use this trash to turn a problem into a solution by transforming this unique material into a beautiful product. As most people will never go to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, through these products, we aim to give everyone the opportunity to take part in the cleanup.”
The company now has its sights set on ‘System 002’. This will scale up the the existing System 001 to allow it collect and store more rubbish.