Ocean cleanup technology has reportedly taken a bite out of the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the first time.
Dutch scientists had designed a floating device to collect plastic from oceans, which collected debris from the giant swath of trash, The Guardian reported on Thursday. The garbage patch, located halfway between Hawaii and California is the largest congregation of plastic in the ocean on Earth, measuring at about three times the size of France.
Boyan Slat, who created the Ocean Cleanup project, tweeted that the 2,000-foot boom had begun its work.
Our ocean cleanup system is now finally catching plastic, from one-ton ghost nets to tiny microplastics!
Also, anyone missing a wheel? pic.twitter.com/Oq0rkXO3TH
— Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat) October 2, 2019
The cleanup system includes a barrier that holds a 10-foot screen below it to catch plastics without interfering with marine life. Satellites and sensors would signal its location for garbage to be retrieved every few months, The Guardian reported.
“I think in a few years’ time when we have the full-scale fleet out there, I think it should be possible to cover the operational cost of the cleanup operation using the plastic harvested,” Slat reportedly said at a press conference.