The worldwide problem with littering has shown very damaging results in many environments. One of the most important, but often overlooked, issues with litter is in our oceans. What you can’t see can’t hurt you, right? Wrong. Littering, with no Ocean Clean Up Project does not only lead to poor experiences for beach-goers, but it is also directly linked to deaths and injuries in the animal kingdom that calls the ocean home.
From the plastic rings used for coke cans that make their way into the water and trap sea life, to other trash from boats and sailors that end up in the stomachs of fish and causing health problems, ocean litter is a big issue.
Luckily, we have very caring people out there that want to help our sea life and encourage a better quality of life for the various species found in the waters around the world. The Ocean Cleanup Project is the largest cleanup initiative in modern times for the ocean.
The Ocean Clean Up Project aims at cleaning up large parts of the ocean and giving sea life the ability to live more freely without the growing possibility of getting caught in the trash or eating things thy shouldn’t. While the project has the right idea, is it enough? Can an initiative like this keep up with the demand caused by the amount of litter left in the water and on on our shores everyday?
The Ocean Cleanup Project
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The Ocean Cleanup Project was introduced by 21-year-old Dutch inventor and entrepreneur, Boyan Slat, to clean up the Earth’s largest habitat. Slat specializes in creating technology to deal with societal issues, and after seeing the destruction of litter in our oceans, he decided to tackle what is possibly the biggest man-made obstacle in history.
Slat began his journey by creating the process used by the project, as well as raising $2.2 million through crowdfunding efforts.
Using innovative technology and machinery, the project uses large cleanup units in the ocean to trap debris that passes through with the various currents passing by each unit. The units are also stationary, allowing the currents to come to them.
This also cuts down energy uses and the results are just as great. These large nets are able to catch much of the litter and debris that comes their way, and studies show these machines may be able to clean up half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years time.
The Results… So Far
While the projects efforts are showing great strides, it is still in its early stages. This means there is no substantial amount of data that tells us this is a viable universal cure for the oceans’ trash problem.
The prototypes from the Ocean Clean Up Project seem to be getting the job done so far, but the process has not been in effect long enough to gather the optimal amount of data. The mapping of the most infamous plastic accumulation zone, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, has enabled the project to show their aerial mapping method is successful.
This means even if the Ocean Clean Up Project doesn’t prove to be the best solution available, it is still making great strides toward cleaning up the oceans for the wildlife that can’t clean it up themselves.