There are many projects dedicated to saving our oceans and cleaning them from plastic. One of them is The Ocean Cleanup project which works with everything from ocean trash capture systems to innovative river barges. During the last few years, the focus has been on scaling up solutions in order to address bigger problems and areas. Recently, the most recent design, known as System 002, returned from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it turns out to be a huge success.
System 002, nicknamed Jenny, launched in August this year. It uses active propulsion to tow the system through the water. “Jenny” is horseshoe-shaped and 800 meters long. Two boats tow the system through the ocean making it possible for it to funnel plastic waste into a collection system.
Since the new system was launched in August, the Ocean Cleanup team has done 70 separate tests in order to determine Jenny’s efficiency. The latest test took six weeks to run and it gathered a record amount of plastic waste.
Many have doubts about trash-catching barriers and believe they might do more harm than good. The problem is, however, the longer plastic waste remains in the water, the more the garbage breaks down. In doing so it is turning into microplastics which is very problematic since the tiny particles spread throughout all ecosystems. Thanks to the new garbage-catching system a future with cleaner and healthier oceans might come sooner.