Plans were unveiled by Boyan Slat, founder of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, for an Ocean Cleanup Array, brought on after launching a school project that analyzed the amount and size of the plastic particles in the ocean’s garbage patches.
The Ocean Cleanup Array project has the potential to remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic from the world’s oceans; save hundreds of thousands of aquatic life each year; and reduce PCB, DDT, and other pollutants from affecting the food chain, which includes humans.
Besides the potential of the positive environmental and health changes, the Arrays could impact other areas including tourism (which can be lost as a result of ocean waste), and marine vessels (which are prone to damage from the garbage).
Those changes, and other clean-up costs results in millions of dollars spent each year, money that can be saved with this innovation.
What is the Ocean Cleanup Array device?
“The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms.” It would sit stationary and span the array of an existing garbage patch, rather than move freely through the ocean. It would behave like a giant funnel, sucking in and filtering the debris.
The angle of the booms would bring the plastic into the funnel, a filtering process would take place to separate out the plankton, and then store the plastic for later recycling.
The harm of plastic to life and the ecosystem
In Slat’s TEDx talk he discussed how a portion of the 300 million tons of plastic each year ends up in the water ways and ultimately into the ocean.
He mentions how animals mistake the plastic for food and die as a result of the consumption. Also, the chemicals in the plastic poison the food chain, which in result harms the population of sea life, and of humans.
One message Slay hopes to convey is that “we need to stress the importance of recycling, and reducing our consumption of plastic packaging.”
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.
Featured image: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex; a gyre of marine debris in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135°W to 155°W and 35°N and 42°N. The patch extends over an indeterminate area, with estimates ranging very widely depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area.
Author: Fangz, using materials in the public domain.
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