Huge machine deployed to clean up ocean plastic
image: The Cleanup Ocean

Huge machine deployed to clean up ocean plastic

A Dutch inventor has developed a massive machine that removed nearly 20,000 lbs of plastic out of the Pacific Ocean recently. Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit made to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040, reports Insider.

To achieve so, his organization has developed a device, dubbed “Jenny,” that collects plastic in a huge system of nets. The team launched the device in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in August. Recently, they put it through a final test and successfully collected almost 20,000 pounds of plastic trash from the ocean.

Making the ocean a cleaner place

While Jenny’s system is complex, the basics of it are pretty basic. It is a 33-foot-long floating barrier that has funnel-shaped nets. Two vessels move it using the ocean at the glacial pace of 1.5 knots, while the ocean current pushes plastic into the nets.

The plastic is then taken to shore where it gets recycled into $200 sunglasses – the proceeds of which help fund more cleaning projects. Slat believes that 10 Jennys would be able to clean up to 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years. However, some experts aren’t sure about the overall effectiveness in battling the issues of ocean pollution.

For instance, the Jenny system only collects surface-level plastics, while there could be as much as 30 times more plastic at the bottom, as per a study published in Marine Conservation and Sustainability. Besides, the vessels used by the system make use of fossil fuels to function. But Slat is optimistic that Jenny will find success eventually in cleaning up the ocean plastic waste.

Other solutions gaining popularity

Previously, Poralu Marine developed an electric robot called BeBot, and it has been used to clean the beaches on American soil. The robot was purchased by the marine cleanup company 4ocean.

BeBot is powered by a battery, with a solar panel to power other accessories. Its continuous-track propulsion system enables it to move smoothly over the sand. As it moves on the beach, its sifter sorts out plastic and other garbage, leaving a clean strip of sand behind.

Close Menu