Snake-like ocean cleanup system

On September 8, The Ocean Cleanup foundation will launch the world’s first ocean cleanup system from its assembly yard in Alameda, through the San Francisco Bay, toward the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

As informed, the assembly of System 001 will be finalised on August 30, after which it will be lowered into the Seaplane Lagoon.

In exactly two weeks, we will launch our first cleanup system from San Francisco, into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We would like you to join us for this milestone, either in person or online.

“On September 8, we will launch the world’s first ocean cleanup system toward the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We would like to invite you to watch the deployment live”, the foundation said in a statement.

In the evening of September 7, the system will be transferred from the lagoon to make new tow with Maersk Supply Service’s AHTS, Maersk Launcher, at Anchorage Eight. A second vessel will be fixed to the aft of System 001 to maintain a stable position.

From there, the system will be towed to the Pacific Ocean, passing near the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Apart from the towing and installation, Maersk Supply Service will also monitor the cleanup system.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located 1,200 nautical miles off the coast of San Francisco.

In the long-term, the foundation plans to install at least 60 systems to remove 50 per cent of the 80,000 tons of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within five years.

Recall that a 120-meter section of the Ocean Cleanup’s floating cleanup system was towed out of San Francisco Bay into the Pacific in May 2018 to conduct a tow test.

Arjen Tjallema, Technology Manager at the Dutch non-profit organisation, had said that the entire section performed satisfactorily.

“Of the minor issues that the screen did endure, most were identified during earlier testing on the North Sea; therefore, the final design had already been adjusted according to these findings. These favorable results mean we can continue the assembly of the full system and prepare for launch in the coming months,” he said.

The organisation, set up in 2013 by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat at the age of 18, is working on a floating system which will be deployed to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch later this summer.

By utilising the ocean currents, the passive drifting systems are estimated to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years’ time. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located halfway between Hawaii and California, is the largest accumulation zone for ocean plastics on Earth. It contains as much as sixteen times more plastic than previously estimated, with pollution levels increasing exponentially, a study shows.