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The Ocean Cleanup – System 001/B Success!
On 2nd October 2019 The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit organisation developing advanced systems to rid the oceans of plastic, announced that its latest prototype system, System 001/B, is successfully capturing and collecting plastic debris.
After one year of testing, the organisation’s engineers celebrated their success in developing a self-contained system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that uses the natural forces of the ocean to passively collect and contain plastic.
System 001/B was launched from Vancouver in June 2019, and was The Ocean Cleanup’s second attempt to prove its concept of collecting garbage from the largest accumulation of plastic in the world’s oceans; The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The system caught plainly visible pieces of plastic debris and much larger ghost nets associated with commercial fishing. However, the team was pleasantly surprised to discover that the system was also successful in capturing microplastics as small as 1mm.
At the beginning of their long journey, early testing proved that the concept that the team had worked so hard to produce could work and that The Ocean Cleanup’s vision was attainable. The team has remained determined to solve the immense technical challenges that they faced to reach the amazing point that they are at today.
System 001/B was designed to trial modifications that addressed known issues. Primarily, the modifications addressed correcting the inconsistent speed difference between the system. This challenge was overcome by slowing down the system with a “parachute sea anchor”, which allowed for faster-moving plastic to float into the system. Once this had been addressed, the team worked towards stopping plastic flowing over the top of the system. This was achieved by increasing the size of the cork line that keeps the skirt afloat.
The Mission Continues
Despite the success of System 001/B, The Ocean Cleanup continues to research and develop ideas to improve the system. The next system, System 002, will be a full-scale cleanup system that is able to both endure and retain the collected plastics for long periods of time.
Once fully operational, The Ocean Cleanup will return plastic to land for recycling.
You can find out more about the System 001/B test campaign at theoceancleanup.com.
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.