20 Million Dollar Cleanup Of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Failing To Collect Plastic

Source: The Guardian/Hannah Summers

Photo: Simson Petrol/Unsplash


A giant floating barrier launched off the coast of San Francisco as part of a $20m project to cleanup a swirling island of rubbish between California and Hawaii, is failing to collect plastic.

The mastermind behind the Ocean Cleanup, an ambitious plan to clear a swathe of the Pacific twice the size of Texas of floating debris, reported four weeks into testing that while the U-shaped device was scooping up plastic, it was then losing it.

Inventor Boyan Slat, 24, said that the slow speed of the solar-powered 600m-long barrier means it is unable to hold on to plastics, but a team of experts is now working on a possible fix.

“What we’re trying to do has never been done before. So, of course we were expecting to still need to fix a few things before it becomes fully operational,” Slat explained.

A crew of engineers will work for the next few weeks to widen the span of the floating barrier so that it catches more wind and waves to help it go faster, he said.

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Photo: Simson Petrol/Unsplash

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