A 21-year old Dutch who founded The Ocean Cleanup Foundation with the aim of a ground breaking project to clean millions of tons of plastics floating in the North Pacific Ocean, has unveiled his first prototype system before its partners, the Dutch Government and marine contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. Boyan Slat, today as a first step to this project- deployed a 100-meter clean-up boom in the North Sea in Netherlands.
This extremely publicized concept of Young Boyan was first designed on a paper napkin when he was in high school. The prototype system will be installed roughly around 12 nautical miles off the Dutch coast where it will undergo sensor monitored test for 12 months.
Collecting the plastic trash from the oceans is not just the aim of this project. According to the foundation, “the objective is to test how The Ocean Cleanup’s floating barrier fares in extreme weather at sea—the kind of conditions the system will eventually face when deployed in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”.
“At the North Sea test site, conditions during a minor storm are more severe than those in exceptionally heavy storms (occurring once every 100 years) in the Pacific Ocean,” the organization added in the statement.
According to The Guardian, the clean-up rubber barriers will passively coral floating trash into a V-shaped cone via the ocean’s natural currents. The structure of this system is fixed by a cable sub-system at a depth of up to 4.5 kilometers.
First waves! pic.twitter.com/3J77A5V8PM
— Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat) November 5, 2015
As per the reports of the project, annually 8 million tons of plastics enter the oceans which have been stacked in five garbage patches in the Pacific. And if this test goes well, a pilot system will be launched in Japan’s coast in 2017. This project restricts plastic trash from entering Tsushima Island. The project will place a full scale operation of a 100-km long version to clean up “great pacific garbage patch” between California and Hawaii in the year 2020.
“I hope that with the help of the Dutch government, Boyan’s prototype will turn out to be the successful solution for cleaning up the mid-ocean gyres. This is crucial to prevent permanent damage to the environment and marine life, due to the degradation and fragmentation of plastic waste materials,” said Sharon Dijksma, the Dutch Environment Minister. She also stated that her government, which funded the prototype partly, was fully backing the project which will ultimately cost the government about £300m.