A non-government organisation ‘Ocean Cleanup’ put in operation the ‘System 001’ in the Pacific Ocean to reduce plastic pollution. The device is 2,000 feet long with a 10-foot skirt hanging below it, under the water. It will create a barrier in the oceans for the plastic so that it can be collected.
Garbage patches in the oceans are formed by rotating ocean currents called “gyres”. This pulls the marine debris (litter, fishing gear, and plastic) into one location.
One garbage patch extremely famous is the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’. Its located between Hawaii and California, and double the size of Texas, or three times the size of California.
The flaw observed in the system was that its able to concentrate the plastic, but was not able to hold on to the plastic. The organization is working to identify the cause.
One of the possible problems is that the system 001 is not moving fast enough as that of the plastic accumulated. The organization observed that the system creates waves, this could possibly be preventing plastic from entering the mouth of the device.
The method of cleaning the Pacific ocean received heavy criticism when it was first launched in 2012. Experts said deploying a device of that size of football fields will create its own environment. So the sea life will grow on it or underneath it. Efforts and of focus must be on stopping waste from reaching the ocean in the first place.
The Ocean Cleanup project’s goal is to clean half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by 2021. It will deploy 60 such systems to clean up the mess.