Plastic is killing the oceans. We have to help The Ocean Cleanup!

PollutionsAbout 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean every year. Part of this accumulates in 5 areas where currents converge: the gyres. At least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are currently in the oceans, a third of which is concentrated in the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Every week the volume of two Empire State Buildings worth of plastic floats into the oceans, where it damages ecosystems, damages economies and enters the food chain, thereby potentially damaging us humans. Ocean plastic does not disappear by itself so it has to be cleaned up.

Every week the volume of two Empire State Buildings worth of plastic floats into the oceans

That’s why the Ocean Cleanup Team, founded by the young Boyan Slat, are developing the Ocean Cleanup Array, a floating network of barriers that can extract plastic for recycling. A single Ocean Cleanup Array can clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years’ time.


The Ocean Cleanup’s passive technology enables the ocean to clean itself. A V-shaped array of floating barriers, attached to the seabed, will catch the plastic deposited there by the natural ocean currents.
Underneath the booms, a submerged non-permeable screen will help concentrate plastic which is suspended under the surface. Most of the current will pass under these screens, carrying away all (neutrally buoyant) sea life and preventing by-catch. The lighter-than-water plastic will collect in front of the floating barriers.

The scalable array of floating barriers will funnel plastics towards the center of the structure, enabling a central platform to efficiently extract and store the concentrated plastic until it is transported to land for recycling. Intended for large-scale deployment, it can harvest plastic from millions of square kilometers. This could even be used Plastic Building Materials for renewable properties!

The Ocean Cleanup’s feasibility study indicates that a single 100 kilometer-long cleanup array could remove 42% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over a period of 10 years. In our most conservative estimate this amounts to over 70 million kilos of plastic, at a cleanup cost of 4.53 Euro per kilo.
So, we have to help the Ocean Cleanup to realise this project! Click here!


  1. Some scientists and others believe that efforts such as the Ocean Cleanup Project are a distraction. from what we really need to do which is stop the plastic from getting into the ocean in the first place. That requires international cooperation and horrendous efforts to change practices and lifestyles. There’s much much more plastic than we can see or even begin to clean up once it’s in the ocean. The plastic breaks down into very small, even microscopic, particles that remain in the ocean for a very long time. Fish and other marine life eat it. The SAIL article does acknowledge we need to stop putting plastic in the water that but it leave the impression cleanup might be possible.
    Here’s a Huffington Post Article that makes the point: about cleanups

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button