Environmental initiative Ocean Cleanup has something to brag about – it has removed more than 100,000 kg of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the first time. Since August 2021, when the System 002 or “Jenny” cleaning system was deployed here, cleaners have covered an area of more than 3,000 km².
They managed to collect 108,526 kg of debris, which is equal to the weight of two and a half Boeing 737s. In total, according to 2018 estimates, the patch contains up to 100,000,000 kg of debris. Ocean Cleanup optimistically notes that if you repeat the procedure 1,000 times, the garbage patch will disappear.
At the same time, they hope to increase the efficiency of the catch, because System 002 was experimental. Once it has proven its effectiveness, the company is ready to move on to the new, expanded System 03. It is expected to capture debris 10 times faster because of its larger size and longer uptime.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world’s largest concentration of ocean plastic in the region between California and Hawaii. The size of the patch is estimated at 1.6 million km², which more than two times exceeds the area of Ukraine.