As a companion piece to Upcycling Ocean Trash into Shelters—I give you the #Dutch initiative that will help #harvest that #plastic to use for #shelters! Utilizing their wonderfully named #boom, #BoomyMcBoomface — the founder, #BoyanSlat developed this system to gather plastic #waste from the gyres so we can #upcycle it!
A bid to clear the Pacific of its plastic debris has moved a step closer with the launch of the biggest prototype clean-up boom yet by the Dutch environment minister at a port in The #Hague.
On Thursday the 100m-long barrier will be towed 20km out to sea for a year of sensor-monitored tests, before being scaled up for real-life trials off the Japanese coast at the end of next year.
The Dutch environment minister, Sharon Dijksma, told the Guardian that her government, which part-funded the test, was fully backing the project, which will eventually cost around €300m.
“We can use our political pressure with other governments, businesses and the international institutions to fund this on an even bigger scale,” she said. “We are used to fronting public-private [partnerships] like this. It is not new for us. When it is a success, philanthropists will be standing in line asking to join us.”
The snake-like ocean barrier is made out of vulcanised rubber and works by harnessing sea currents to passively funnel trash in surface waters – often just millimetres in diameter – into a V-shaped cone.
A cable sub-system will anchor the structure at depths of up to 4.5km – almost twice as far down as has even been done before – keeping it in place so it can trap the rubbish for periodic collection by boats.
A fully scaled-up barrier would be the most ambitious ocean cleansing project yet, capturing around half of the plastic soup that circles the Pacific gyre within a decade. That at least is the plan.