Jun 25, 2019 03:52 PM EDT
A floating device that has been specifically to catch all plastic waste floating in the ocean has been deployed in the Great Pacific. Now, it is out there again in an attempt to clean up what looks like a huge island of plastic garbage swirling between the islands of Hawaii and California.
Boylan Slat, the genius behind the Ocean Cleanup project, has announced on Twitter that the 2000ft floating boom that broke apart while out at sea late last year has been once again set up in the Great Pacific waters. After undergoing repairs for four months, it has been set out again to help contain the trash that has been building up in the Pacific.
The u-shaped plastic barrier was taken to the ocean by a ship that travelled from San Francisco to the identified patch in September to help trap all the plastic. But during the four months that it has been at sea, the weather conditions including the waves and the wind destroyed it. The plastic barrier was not keeping the plastics it has caught.
"Hopefully, nature doesn't come with a lot of surprises," Slat said in a tweet. "Either way, we are all set to learn something from the campaign this time."
With its solar powered lights, camera set-up, sensors and satellite, the device intends not only to collect plastic on the surface of the ocean or underneath it at least 3 meters down, but to also communicate its position and condition at all times. The support vessel that is out there every three weeks to collect the plastic for recycling would be able to come back and provide support in case the barrier gets damaged again.
When it was first put out at sea, the marine biologists that were with the team on the support vessel did not notice any remarkable impact to the environment. However, the second testing leaves the project hope that it could made the difference that it has set out to make.
Slat has expressed that he remains hopeful that someday the project would be able to set forth 60 devices similar to such to skim all the plastic debris from the surface of the ocean. Once done, the plastics will be collected and taken to a facility that will turn them into something reusable for the future.
The success of the project is not determined by how long it could hold itself in the ocean or how many storms it brave against. Rather, it is the amount of plastic collected and the education that it provides people with hope that when they see where their plastic trash is going, they would eventually stop using it.
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