How To Clean Up The Ocean

The oceans are huge, right?  Unfortunately, they’re not big enough, because the trash we’ve been dumping into these largest of waterways is becoming a real problem.   In fact, there is an area of floating junk that’s become known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch ( https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/).  Except there is actually more than one.  But how can you clean up an ocean?

A Dutch foundation is going to try.  The Ocean Cleanup has a plan to use long-distance floating booms that will act like coastlines to collect plastic on or near the surface.  They plan to start testing off the U.S. West Coast by the end of this year.  If the tests go well, barriers will be deployed in the first half of 2018.

You can follow their progress at their website, https://www.theoceancleanup.com/ .  They estimate a full-scale deployment of our systems could clean up 50 % of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years.

Let’s hope it works.  There’s over five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean right now, and it’s not getting any cleaner.

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