GREENING AND ENVIRONMENT HEALTH AND WELFARE

Pacific Ocean plastic problem solved by new clean-up device

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Ocean Conservancy has been struggling for years to solve the problem of Great Pacific Garbage Patch in Oceans. Social Entrepreneur Boyan Slat and his team have finally designed a huge floating device to clean up an island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean. This device has successfully picked up plastic from the high seas for the first time.

Slat has always dreamed of cleaning up the world’s oceans ever since he was a teenager hence the invention of a giant C-shaped tube. He tweeted that the 600 meters long free-floating boom had captured and retained rubble from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The tube aims to collect 50% of the debris in the patch in five years, it’s driven by wind and waves the floating barrier moves with the plastic and other rubbish but a sea anchor slows it down allowing rubbish to catch up and collect. Every few weeks a support vessel arrives to collect accumulated debris for recycling.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch is huge jumble of fishing nets, bottles, bags and other plastic items floating in the North Pacific Ocean. According to a study published in 2016 by the World Economic Forum every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean and affects marine animals. According to Nicholas Mallos, Director of the Ocean Conservancy Trash Free Sea Program “plastic has been a huge problem for sea turtles and whales, which are washing up dead with stomachs and throats clogged with plastic”.

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