The world’s first system to passively clean up plastic pollution from the world’s oceans is to be deployed in 2016, Boyan Slat, 20-year old founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup announced at Asia’s largest technology conference – Seoul Digital Forum, South-Korea.
The array is projected to be deployed in Q2 2016. The feasibility of deployment, off the coast of Tsushima, an island located in the waters between Japan and South Korea is currently being researched.
The system will span 2,000 meters, thereby becoming the longest floating structure ever deployed in the ocean (beating the current record of 1,000 m held by the Tokyo Mega-Float). It will be operational for at least two years, catching plastic pollution before it reaches the shores of the proposed deployment location off Tsushima island. Tsushima island is evaluating whether the plastic can be used as an alternative energy source.
The scale of the plastic pollution problem off Tsushima island, approximately one cubic meter of pollution per person is washed up each year, has led the local government to seek innovative solutions to the problem.
The deployment will represent an important milestone in The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to remove plastic pollution from the world’s oceans. Within five years, The Ocean Cleanup plans to deploy a 100 km-long system to clean up about half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floating between Hawaii and California.
”Taking care of the world’s ocean garbage problem is one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces today,” said Slat.
”Not only will this first cleanup array contribute to cleaner waters and coasts, but it simultaneously is an essential step towards our goal of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This deployment will enable us to study the system’s efficiency and durability over time.”