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The Ocean Clean Up – System 001/B

The Ocean CleanupThe Ocean Cleanup is on a mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Their starting point is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of plastic in the world. The patch contains over eight million tonnes of plastic spread over an area three times the size of France and is extremely remote (five times further from land than the International Space Station), and is extremely difficult and costly to reach.

In order to clean up this vast expanse of floating plastic, the Ocean Cleanup has devised a system to gather the plastic into a concentrated area as autonomously as possible to limit vessel use and save costs. They compare their innovative system to a large rake that collects all the leaves, or in this case plastic, into one big pile that can be picked up in one go.

The Ocean Cleanup, Take 1

Last September, they deployed System 001 into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – marking the first-ever attempt to start cleaning it up. During the last campaign, they confirmed many key assumptions of the design, but also encountered two unscheduled learning opportunities: the system did not maintain sufficient speed, allowing the plastic to exit the system, and a stress concentration caused a fatigue fracture in the HDPE floater.

Launch System 001/B

After processing their learnings from System 001, The Ocean Cleanup wanted to get back out to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as quickly as possible so they could find a solution to the plastic retention issue. In June this year they launched their test campaign for System 001/B; a smaller system which could be adapted offshore to test multiple configurations.

After six weeks of trialling System 001/B, the test campaign has drawn to a close. The Ocean Cleanup was able to achieve a consistent speed through the plastic using one of the configurations – a parachute anchor – and, therefore, solving one of their biggest challenges.

You can find out more about the System 001/B test campaign at theoceancleanup.com.

There are still some issues to be addressed before the system will be able to effectively retain the plastic. However, with each test, The Ocean Cleanup prove to be on track to clean up 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over the next 5 years.

Global Office Supplies

Global Office Supplies are proud supporters of The Ocean Cleanup and make regular donations to help them develop their innovative systems that will hopefully, one-day, rid the oceans of all plastic.

You Can Help Too

You too can help The Ocean Cleanup mission by means of a one-off or regular donation or by purchasing some of their merchandise.