The Ocean Cleanup has developed the world’s first feasible method to remove half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years’ time. Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the oceans severely damaging ecosystems and economies, even affecting the food chain. Plastic concentrates in five circulation currents called “gyres,” the largest one being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, halfway between Hawaii and California.
Instead of going after the plastic using vessels and nets (which would take thousands of years and tens of billions of dollars to complete), The Ocean Cleanup is developing a network of extremely long floating barriers that will use the ocean currents to collect the plastic. This month, around 30 vessels cross the Great Pacific Garbage Patch about 40 times, taking more plastic measurements in three weeks than in the past 40 years combined. The Mega Expedition is the largest ocean research expedition in history.
A press conference will be held as the first batch of Mega Expedition vessels (including the mothership) arrives in San Francisco after a 30-day voyage mapping the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A fleet of around 30 vessels has been gathering data to find out how much plastic is floating in the Pacific Ocean. This operation is in preparation of the large-scale cleanup of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is scheduled to begin by 2020. More here.