The Ocean Cleanup Successfully Catches Plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
I missed my R.A.D. as Hell anniversary, y’all! A whole year of (mostly) weekly PSAs about the coolest forking shiz in the ocean. Gotta be honest, I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with this. I’m also pretty proud of The Ocean Cleanup, who are featuring here YET AGAIN (fifth time’s the charm) as they continue to hit the grind and churn out pure, unadulterated, grade-A rad-ness.
For those not in the know, The Ocean Cleanup is designing and building autonomous collectors for the plastic debris that accumulates in the world’s ocean gyres. Picture a gigantic whirlpool of trash except it’s nothing as exciting as a whirlpool and unless you’re picturing something the size of Texas, you’re not thinking big enough. Get the full scoop here, here, here, and here.
Last time we checked in with The Ocean Cleanup, they’d just vaulted a major hurdle in getting their System 001/B to move at the right speed for capturing plastic. In a press release earlier this month, the group announced that, after implementing this change and several others, System 001/B is successfully trapping plastic debris – from giant “ghost nets” discarded from commercial fishing, to pieces as small as 1 millimeter. That is pretty damn impressive.
The plan now is to take all they’ve learned so far and pour it into the development of System 002 (a name which narrowly beat out System McSystemface). System 002 will be the real deal – full-scale, long-lasting, and a litmus test for mass production of a whole fleet of debris aggregators that will someday be let loose on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
So keep an eye on The Ocean Cleanup and thanks for a R.A.D. year.