One of the major effects of environmental pollution and degradation is the fact that our oceans have become much polluted. Marine life and the environment are being adversely affected as a result. One Dutch company is set to change all that with their project called Ocean Cleanup. They plan to clean the world’s oceans by ridding them of plastic and other pollutant materials. Their first practical testing for their cleanup device will be done 23 kilometers off the Dutch coast in the North Sea. The CEO of Ocean Cleanup, Boyan Slat, was just 16 years old when he got the idea of starting such a company when he found more plastic bags than fish during a diving experience. Ocean plastic is a growing issue and is hurting the fishing industries in addition to the fish itself.
The 100 meter-long barrier segment to be deployed in the North Sea this week will help validate the survivability of the system. Sensors will track every motion of the prototype and the loads it is subjected to. The data gathered will enable engineers to develop a system fully resistant to severe conditions during the cleanup of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Ocean Cleanup’s cleaning technology makes use of long floating barriers which act as an artificial coastline, passively catching and concentrating ocean debris.
The two main backers of the project are the Dutch government and famous dredging and marine contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. This device will be the first large scale ocean cleaning device being tested and implemented. Its success after one year will determine if the device can be used at other places too.
This gesture has received a lot of praise from many notable personalities. One of them is the Dutch Prime Minister himself. He said, “The Ocean Cleanup is an inspiring example of how we can tackle the growing problem of ocean pollution. 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.”
Here is an explanatory video about Project Ocean Cleanup: