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This System Could Help Eliminate Plastic Waste From The Ocean

Pollution is a big problem in the ocean. It can affect the wildlife in many parts of it and even destroy entire ecosystems. Plastic is the most commonly found waste floating in the ocean, and until a few years ago, cleaning it up from the sea was extremely difficult.

The Ocean Cleanup is a nonprofit founded by Boyan Slat in 2013 when he was just 18 years old. Wanting to help rid the ocean of its plastic waste problem, Slat created something called System 001. It was first presented as a concept in 2013 and there has been rigorous testing and redesign over the last five years.

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It is billed as “a passive collection apparatus that works by moving in tandem with the ocean’s currents, taking advantage of the water’s circular movements, called gyres, that cause trash to accumulate in the first place.”

System 001 is important because it helps remove debris that can decompose into microplastics and enters the food chain. It is also built in such a way that prevents animals from ever getting trapped in its net.

The Ocean Cleanup has plans to help lower pollution globally but must first focus on what is known as the Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a large collection of human-created waste that floats in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. In this mass is about 80,000 metric tons of garbage spanning it spans 5.2 billion square feet.

The Pacific Garbage Patch will be the real test for System 001. If it works well to diminish the size of this floating trash island, then it will show the rest of the world it is a technology worth investing in.

The Ocean Cleanup has set up a way to track System 001 on their website, where you can learn all about their efforts to help clean up the ocean.

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