The clump of rubble that floats in the Pacific Ocean is 17 times the size of Portugal. The Ocean Cleanup project wants to do away with it. The tests began this Saturday.
Ocean Cleanup has launched a system designed to clean up about 1.8 billion pieces of garbage floating on the so-called Pacific Garbage Island. The cluster is 17 times the size of Portugal.
The system was activated last Saturday, December 1, in San Francisco Bay, USA. The technology will now undergo a series of tests before moving on to the mission assigned to it.
The organization behind this invention is Ocean Cleanup, which was founded in 2013 by Denmark's Boyan Slat, who was then 18 years old. The mission of the NGO is "to develop advanced technology to rid the oceans of plastic".
This cleanup technology will allow each of the equipment to clean up about 68 tons of garbage over the first five years of operations, where they will operate on the sea currents that exist between Hawaii and California.
Lixo Island, also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Channel, which was discovered in the 1980s, occupies an area of more than 1.6 million square kilometers. The agglomerate was created by a convergent circular sea current, which concentrates the garbage inside its perimeter.
The cleaning system will be towed to the "island" in October next year. The idea is to create a "U" with several machines, so as to trap the garbage inside. As soon as the deposit of a machine is filled, a freighter is sent to transport the garbage to solid ground, where it will be recycled.
This is the first company to try a feat of this magnitude, so the testing phase will be critical to the operationalization of the system under real conditions.