Ocean Cleanup Array Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons of Plastic from the Sea

By: | January 20th, 2014

Plastics are no doubt serious threats to our oceans and to the health of sea creatures, both big and small. They constitute approximately 90% of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. Worst part is it takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.

Meanwhile, scientists are trying their best to search for ways to remove this trash. And 19-year-old- Boyan Slat has shown a ray of hope.  He’s revealed his plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans.

How this device works: This innovative device comprises of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. This device will behave like a giant funnel and in place of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch. The angle of the booms would force plastic towards the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.

Benefits from this device: Slat’s passion to create healthier oceans is likely to beneficially impact the lives of the entire world. It will not only help in saving thousands of animals and reducing harmful chemicals (like PCB and DDT) from building up in the food chain, but will also save millions of dollars a year due to clean-up costs, lost tourism and damage to marine vessels.

The clean-up process is expected to take about five years and it could definitely increase awareness about the world’s plastic garbage patches.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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