About 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.
HOW WE CAN SOLVE THE PROBLEM?
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 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!