Giant Ocean Cleanup Has Begun To Remove Plastic From The Ocean

Source: The New York Times/Christina Caron

Photo: Henry & Co./Unsplash

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A multimillion-dollar floating boom designed to corral plastic debris littering the Pacific Ocean deployed from San Francisco Bay on Saturday as part of a larger high-stakes and ambitious undertaking.

The 2,000-foot-long unmanned structure was the product of about $20 million in funding from the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that aims to trap up to 150,000 pounds of plastic during the boom’s first year at sea. Within five years, with the creation of dozens more booms, the organization hopes to clean half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The patch, a gyre of trash between California and Hawaii, comprises an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of scattered detritus, including at least 87,000 tons of plastic.

Over the next several days, the boom will be towed to a site where it will undergo two weeks of testing. If everything goes as planned, the boom will then be brought to the garbage patch, nearly 1,400 miles offshore, where it is expected to arrive by mid-October, said Boyan Slat, 24, the Dutch inventor and entrepreneur who founded Ocean Cleanup.

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Photo: Henry & Co./Unsplash

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