The ocean plastic problem, caused by our own throwaway culture, is one of the most pressing global environmental issues facing our world today. However, there is hope in the form of innovative technologies, spearheaded by organizations such as The Ocean Cleanup, that are being used to tackle this growing problem.
Led by Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup is an environmental non-profit organization that has been actively working on filtering plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean for close to 10 years. While progress has been slow and difficult, the team has made significant headway in understanding the scope of this issue.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located in the North Pacific Ocean, is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic. It comprises all kinds of plastic debris, from the largest fishing nets to tiny microplastics. With the mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, The Ocean Cleanup team has focused much of their attention on this garbage patch.
The first phase of the project was to understand and assess the problem by sending out research vessels to analyze the garbage patch. This initial step has been followed by developing advanced technologies to clean up the plastic from the world’s oceans. The Ocean Cleanup team has already deployed a full-scale cleanup system into the Pacific and is preparing for more deployments in the near future.
The Ocean Cleanup team is also developing ways to prevent more plastic from entering the oceans. This includes working with businesses, governments, and NGOs to create more efficient waste management strategies. Boyan Slat has also encouraged individuals to reduce their plastic consumption and to be more conscious of the waste they produce.
Overall, The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, and their efforts and technological innovations are helping to make a difference. While it will be a long and difficult journey, they are certainly on the right track to achieving this goal.