This May, Boyan Slat and his team of The Ocean Cleanup will launch their first fully operational Ocean Cleanup system in the Great Pacific Ocean. The system intends to collect vast amounts of plastic within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. There is a general consensus that a colossal 6 to 8 billion metric tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans each year. Scientist estimate that 100,000 sea mammals and millions of sea birds and fish deaths each year are caused by plastic ingestion or entanglement.
Tragically, plastic disintegrates fast in the ocean. The influence of salt water and the Sun’s UV-rays contribute to the decomposition of plastic in ever smaller pieces that end up in the marine food chain. The Ocean Cleanup system is here to put a stop to this development by remediating 50% of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch before 2026. At Greenmatch we write about renewable energy solutions and report on the progress of initiatives like The Ocean Cleanup.
The Ocean Cleanup managed to develop a system that is able to collect floating pieces of plastic debris. Although this is a victory for environmentalist, no lasting comfort can be taken from that. Humans have to come up with plastic remediation solutions that can operate in areas where the Ocean Cleanup system will not work. This project is merely the beginning and not an end solution to the problem of marine plastic waste.