A Dutch teenager came up with a clever solution to combat the Great Pacific Trash Patch and it is about to start cleaning the ocean.
The Ocean Cleanup initiative that was created by a Dutch teenager to collect plastic from the surface of the ocean without harming marine life. The vessel has successfully set sail and is currently undergoing its final round of tests before it begins tidying up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The vessel left San Francisco Bay on September 9th and began testing on September 19th. The vessel, which is called System 001 (or “Wilson”), has travelled 350 nautical miles away from the coast to fulfil its 5-item checklist before taking on the trash patch.
The checklist consists of the following:
- U-shape installation
- Sufficient speed through water
- Ability to reorient when wind/wave change directions
- Effective span in steady state
- No significant damage at end of test
Clear blue skies and calm waters, perfect conditions to perform the first installation of System 001 at the test site. The Pacific Trial phase has begun. pic.twitter.com/MmOFtoowqu
— The Ocean Cleanup (@TheOceanCleanup) September 15, 2018
“Confirming these objectives will provide us with the understanding to know if the system is up for the challenge it’s set to face in the patch. Should we encounter any issues, it is much easier to tow the system back to shore from here than it would be all the way from the patch.”
The trash patch was discovered in the 90’s and is a massive island drifting halfway between California and Hawaii. It consists of over a trillion pieces of debris which have collected there because of the swirling vortex of current. It is roughly twice the size of Texas.
Once the tests have been successful, the vessel can set sail for the trash patch and start cleaning up the mess humans have made.
14 days since the Pacific Trials began; while the test plan is a little behind schedule, the engineering team has not yet seen any unexpected issues and aims to conduct the final tests this weekend. pic.twitter.com/Ms8mij9UGq
— The Ocean Cleanup (@TheOceanCleanup) September 29, 2018