The Ocean Cleanup: A simple but ambitious project to clean up plastic in the oceans!

We know that plastic is a big pollutant, and that it actually comes together to form huge garbage patches in the oceans. For a refresher, check out our earlier article on ocean pollution

While we are in the process of reducing the amount of plastic we use, there are no real solutions that have been proposed to clean up the mess we have already made! That is, not until now.

In 2011, 16-year-old Boyan Slat went scuba diving in Greece and found there was more plastic than fish in the sea. Eek! He was concerned about this but what worried him more was that no one was doing anything much about it. He started researching a solution, came up with something workable, raised some money, and got his initiative going!

What he came up with is called The Ocean Cleanup. It is elegantly simple, and aims to be able to remove 50% of the garbage in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every 5 years! How will it do that? Check this video out:


The first part of this project, System 001, was launched from San Francisco on September 8, 2018, did 2 weeks of testing in the waters, and has arrived at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in October. The crew reports that it seems to be doing well, and is bringing the first haul of plastic back so that it can be sorted and recycled.

We hope that this works, because if it does, The Ocean Cleanup intends to have multiple systems in the oceans, cleaning up our mess. Let’s hope that it works, that they can clean more than we put back in the oceans, that we find better alternatives to plastic, and that we change our habits to be kinder to our planet.

Here’s a link to their website. You can track the progress of System 001 on it.


Written by: Preetika Soni. 
Preetika is a freelance content writer and transcriptionist. Her interests are photography, crochet, and finding answers for her 3 year old son’s ‘But Why’ questions.