Ocean garbage patches are vast but dispersed. By acting like an artificial coastline, Ocean Cleanup’s array passively concentrates the plastic by orders of magnitude, 100% powered by natural ocean currents. Their floating barriers are designed to capture virtually any type of debris. Models show that by utilizing vast rotational ocean currents, a single 100km installation can catch almost half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years.
Cleaning the oceans isn’t easy. If you try to fight it, you will lose. But by carefully scaling up and working together with world-renowned offshore companies (such as SBM Offshore, Heerema and Boskalis) and institutes (including IMARES, Deltares and MARIN), Ocean Cleanup believes initiating a cleanup by 2020 is achievable. The Ocean Cleanup Array is designed to be as flexible as possible. This allows it to move along with the waves, which is key in ensuring the structure will be able to survive the most extreme conditions.
Ocean Cleanup’s R&D strategy leans on the notion that you learn more during a week of testing than during a year behind a computer. They test fast and often, not to prove themselves right, but to look for the things that don’t yet work, as planned. It’s moving forward quickly and in the right direction.