Enviro Monday: Ocean Cleanup system ready to clean up 50% of the GPGP in 5 years

The Ocean Cleanup system has been developed over five years of trial and error by Boyan Slat and his team at The Ocean Cleanup. Their first objective will be for the system to establish itself within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) and collect vast amounts of plastic.

WATCH: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch explained

Approximately eight million metric tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year causing at least 100 000 sea mammals and millions of sea birds and fish to die annually from plastic ingestion or entanglement.

The Ocean Cleanup system is the brainchild of 24-year-old Boyan Slat



The Ocean Cleanup Foundation is a Dutch company founded by Slat when he was 17. Trash accumulates in five ocean garbage patches, the largest one being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California. If left to circulate, the plastic will impact our ecosystems, health and economies. Solving it requires a combination of closing the source, and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean.

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. A full-scale deployment is estimated to clean up 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years.

Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch using conventional methods – vessels and nets – would take thousands of years and tens of billions of dollars to complete.

The Ocean Cleanup passive systems are estimated to remove half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years, at a fraction of the cost.

A long, floating barrier acts as an artificial coastline, passively catching and concentrating ocean debris, powered by the ocean’s natural currents. Click here to see how it works.


Humans end up ingesting micro plastics



More than five trillion pieces of plastic are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain.  This is of great concern due to the toxic chemicals contained in plastics, as well as the pollutants that plastic attract once they are in the marine environment.

WATCH: Ridding the world’s oceans of plastic

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