The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The Ocean Cleanup has three core approaches to tackling plastic pollution:
1) Clean legacy ocean plastic - Since 2018, The Ocean Cleanup has deployed technologies to remove plastic that has accumulated in ocean garbage patches. It's current system (System 002) has removed more than 225,000 kg of plastic from The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
2) Turn off the tap: The Ocean Cleanup also develops and deploys Interceptor technologies that prevent plastic from reaching the oceans via rivers, focusing on 1000 rivers that are responsible for 80% of riverine plastic pollution. To date, 19 Interceptor solutions have been deployed across 8 countries.
3) Research: In the process of understanding the problem, The Ocean Cleanup has become a global leader in field research on marine plastic pollution.
November 3, 2019 — Klang river, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
No one river is the same. Factors like river width, depth, flow speed, debris composition, seasonality, and tides all have a major influence on the success of a river intervention. To tackle different types of scenarios, we have a family of technology solutions to choose from, ranging from high tech to low tech. Interceptors like the one featured in this photo are currently removing trash from rivers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Guatemala, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.
June 23, 2023 — Rio Las Vacas, Guatemala
In June 2023, The Ocean Cleanup deployed an Interceptor Barricade in Guatemala's Rio Las Vacas river in order to intercept the annual "trash tsunamis" that, driven by seasonal rains, sweep tremendous volumes of plastic into the Gulf of Honduras and Caribbean each year. Within the first few weeks of its deployment, the Interceptor Barricade has allowed The Ocean Cleanup to stop nearly 100,000 kg of trash from flowing to sea.
May 17, 2023 — Great Pacific Ocean Patch
The Ocean Cleanup's system 002 is currently active in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. With an 800 meter collection zone engineered to bypass marine life while retaining floating plastic, and guided by real time models of plastic concentration, it has so far removed more than 225,000 kg of ocean plastic. The Ocean Cleanup is currently in the process of a phased scale-up to an improved System 03, with a collection zone of 2500 meters and much greater plastic cleanup efficiency.
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