The Biggest Ocean Cleanup In History Has Begun

Some of you may have seen various stories chronicling the journey toward the largest ocean cleanup in history.

According to various sources, the cleanup would eliminate 50 percent of the ocean trash every five years.

For years the idea, created by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat in 2013, was simply that. The 18 year old created a non profit organization, appropriately called The Ocean Cleanup, with hopes to implement his invention and rid the ocean of all plastic.

As of September 8, his idea is now a reality with the first deployment of the floating boom system from San Fransisco Bay. The contraption looks like a large fishing net that works with the ocean’s natural tide.

The U shaped boom will focus on cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a vortex of trash between California and Hawaii, according to Forbes. 

Currently, the boom is now collecting trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch after completing its test runs. It is estimated the boom will collect roughly 150,000 pounds of plastic a year. The garbage patch has 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic.

The netting is 10 feet deep, shallow enough to allow fish and other marine life to swim below it, but still deep enough to capture ocean trash.

More booms will be released into the ocean once the first deployment shows results and allows for a trial period to see how the invention is working.

The Ocean Cleanup wants people to come along and be part of the exciting journey toward a plastic free ocean. You can watch the boom in real time and see via satellite where it currently is deployed. Live updates are also available on their website. 

An estimated 9 million tons of plastic manages to end up in the ocean every year, according to National Geographic, and more than 40 percent of plastic items are used just once before being thrown away.

The cleanup’s goal is to have the oceans completely plastic free by 2015.