(ORDO NEWS) — The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is an accumulation of anthropogenic debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Its area is 1.6 million square meters. km, and GPGP is the largest plastic accumulation area in the world.
GPGP is located between Hawaii and California. It’s estimated to contain a whopping 2.41 million tons of plastic, and the slick just keeps growing.
Scientists are desperately trying to get rid of garbage by collecting it from the ocean. They do this all the time, but in October 2022 they managed to remove 10,086 kg of plastic, bringing the total amount of plastic removed to 145,518 kg. This is the largest fence in the history of cleaning.
Mission Impossible: Clean Up the Ocean
The Ocean Cleanup project, which cleans up GPGP, hopes to reduce floating plastic by 90% by 2040.
“October 11th we landed our biggest single catch to date; 10,086 kg of plastic has been removed from the site in just 6.5 days, resulting in a total of 145,518 kg of debris so far,” Ocean Cleanup said on social media. In a week, the project workers are going to return to the spot again. This will be the last flight this year.
To collect debris, Ocean Cleanup first creates an “artificial shoreline” around the GPGP site where the plastic is concentrated. It is essentially a long U-shaped barrier that guides the plastic into a containment area at the far end.
Once the system is full, the rear of the storage area is lifted aboard the ship and pressurized, detached from the barrier system and folded into a special compartment. Then the garbage continues to be cleaned already on the ship.
“After sorting and filling our containers on board, we bring them ashore for recycling,” explained Ocean Cleanup. “With the help of our partners, we plan to turn ocean plastic into durable and valuable products, which will help us further fund our activities.”
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