It’s back…with 60 cubic meters of plastic trash

” After months of research, failures, and reconfigurations, and weeks spent at sea traveling to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and back, The Ocean Cleanup’s device—a 2,000-foot long floating tube that skims the surface of the water to catch plastic trash—has returned to shore. And with it, it brought back 60 bags, sized one cubic meter, full of plastic trash, everything from fishing nets to plastic bags to microplastics one millimeter in size.

Not bad for V.001/b

” The end of the first voyage for The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch nonprofit that hopes to rid the world of ocean plastic, is the end of a long journey for founder and CEO Boyan Slat, who first presented the concept of his device at a TEDx talk in 2012, and has spent the last seven years designing, funding, and deploying it. Now that it’s actually working—pulling debris from the giant vortex of trash that has collected in the Pacific ocean—the next step for the organization is turning that plastic into sustainable products, so you can own a piece of the Garbage Patch and help fund future missions.

” The system that returned with the first Garbage Patch-captured plastic has been dubbed System 001/b, and The Ocean Cleanup has already begun preparing for System 002, a new full-scale, fully operational design. For this first voyage, crew members had to follow the device in a boat and empty the system of its caught plastic every few weeks. Slat hopes to extend that retention ability to months, because fewer trips back and forth with a boat means a more cost-effective cleanup process. “Our goal is to clean up 50% of the Garbage Patch in five years,” Slat says. “For that, we’re going to need a whole fleet of them, and the systems need to be bigger than the ones that we have trialed so far.”

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