There’s an area twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean which is filled with garbage, mostly plastic, and aptly called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
25 year old Boyan Slat and his organization, The Ocean Cleanup, have come up with a U shaped device that’s capable of hauling plastic garbage from the area using its giant arm.
Initially marred by a few setbacks, where the device malfunctioned and spilled the plastic back into the ocean, the project has now tasted success in October, where it was able to retain the captured plastic trash and bring 60 bags of plastic debris back to the Vancouver Harbor.
Slat mentioned in a press conference that he was distended with joy and pride with the success of the mission, sitting behind the pile of garbage that was brought ashore.
He already has a plan for the plastic that has been towed onto land, which is to recycle it.
With the first trash being brought ashore which marked the success of the mission, they plan to clean up half the garbage patch in the Pacific and agreed that this was quite an arduous task which was the reason this was not undertaken in the past.
The company aims at scaling up the operations for a full-fledged clean up however admits that there are technical challenges to be surmounted to see if the device can endure the rough environment prevalent in high seas.
Currently funding for the organization is being provided by major Silicon Valley donors like Peter Thiel and Marc Benioff however Slat wants the organization to generate revenue by selling the plastics so that they can be self-sustaining.
He mentioned that the revenue generated by selling those products will be reused in further cleanup operations of the area.
He mentioned that their company can claim that their products are made of recycled plastic even if it contains only 1% of the items that were hauled ashore however their aim is to make products that are made from them entirely.
Another challenge that they can foresee is that the waste brought ashore is battered and weathered as a result of them being in the rough waters for decades to an extent that makes it hard for them to be refurbished but he still thinks it’s achievable in a more positive note.