29 tonnes of plastic waste collected in the Pacific

The sea is polluted with tons of plastic waste. This can now be collected again using new technology.

“Ocean cleaning

Victoria (AP) – In a testing phase lasting several weeks, the plastic waste collector of the organization “The Ocean Cleanup” has achieved success in the Pacific.

In nine missions, the system collected nearly 29 tonnes of plastic waste from the sea surface, the organization said on Wednesday in Victoria, Canada. For him, this successful test is proof that the technology works and that the oceans can be cleaned of waste, the initiator and head of the organization, Dutchman Boyan Slat, told press representatives. “I think it’s really a success for humanity,” said the 27-year-old.

At the end of July, the revised 002 system, nicknamed “Jenny”, raced from the west coast of Canada to what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Scientists estimate that 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic will accumulate in this Pacific vortex. The “Ocean Cleanup” garbage collector is an 800-meter-long net construction that is slowly pulled into the water by two U-shaped tugs. The plastic waste that collects is loaded onto the ships and recycled ashore.

After the end of the test phase, System 002 is expected to restart on Thursday, the company said. According to the plans of “The Ocean Cleanup”, a fleet of ten cleaning systems with a length of 2500 meters each should be used in the long term. The goal is to halve the amount of waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years.

The first garbage collector started up in San Francisco in September 2018. However, the system was damaged during its test operation and was unable to capture the waste as expected. There were many failures in the development of the project, which is supported by companies and universities. The efficiency and sustainability of the system are also criticized.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211021-99-674393 / 2

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