Ocean Cleanup Charity: Making Waves for a Cleaner Future

Ocean Cleanup Charity: Making Waves for a Cleaner Future

In an era where environmental issues are at the forefront of global concerns, organisations dedicated to ocean cleanup play a vital role in safeguarding our planet. One such remarkable initiative is the Ocean Cleanup Charity, which tirelessly works towards removing plastic pollution from our oceans.

What is the Ocean Cleanup Charity? This charity is a non-profit organisation committed to developing advanced technologies to rid the world's oceans of plastic debris. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, the organisation has since gained international recognition for its innovative approach to solving the ocean plastic crisis. Their cutting-edge solutions aim to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a massive accumulation of floating plastic waste and to put itself out of business, with the goal of removing 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040.

How does it work?

The Ocean Cleanup Charity's innovative cleanup technology operates using a passive cleanup system that harnesses the power of ocean currents. Here's a breakdown of how it works:

System Deployment: The Ocean Cleanup deploys a U-shaped floating device, often referred to as a "cleanup system" or "booms," at the targeted location within the ocean. These cleanup systems consist of a long floating barrier with a skirt that hangs beneath it, creating a downward-facing curtain.

Capturing and Concentrating Debris: As ocean currents move through the cleanup system, they push debris, specifically plastic waste, towards the centre of the U-shaped barrier. The barrier acts as a natural funnel, effectively capturing and concentrating the debris.

Minimising Impact on Marine Life: There is a great deal of care taken to design the cleanup system in a way that minimises its impact on marine life. The system includes specially designed screens and barriers that prevent the entanglement of larger marine animals, while smaller organisms can swim safely beneath the system.

Debris Collection and Removal: Once the plastic waste has been captured and concentrated within the cleanup system, it is regularly collected and removed for recycling and proper disposal. The organisation employs vessels to periodically visit the cleanup sites, retrieve the collected debris, and transport it back to shore.

Recycling and Processing: The collected plastic debris undergoes sorting and processing to ensure proper recycling. The Ocean Cleanup collaborates with recycling partners and facilities to transform the plastic waste into reusable materials, reducing the demand for new plastic production.

What’s great about the cleanup systems are that they are designed to be scalable, meaning they can be expanded and deployed in multiple locations worldwide. This scalability allows for a more comprehensive and effective approach to tackling the problem of plastic pollution.

By deploying these passive cleanup systems, the Ocean Cleanup Charity aims to remove vast amounts of plastic debris from the oceans, preventing further harm to marine ecosystems, and raising awareness about the urgent need for sustainable waste management practices.

Through continuous innovation, research, and collaboration, the Ocean Cleanup Charity strives to refine and improve its cleanup technologies to achieve even greater results in the fight against ocean plastic pollution.

What they have achieved so far:  Significant milestones have been achieved in its mission to clean up the world's oceans. Some of their achievements include:

  1. a) Successful Pilot Projects: The organisation conducted a series of pilot projects to test their cleanup technologies and refine their approach. In 2018, the first System 001 prototype was deployed, successfully collecting plastic debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
  2. b) System 001/B Deployment: In 2019, the Ocean Cleanup Charity deployed an upgraded version, System 001/B, which demonstrated improved performance and efficiency in capturing and retaining plastic debris. The system's success marked a significant step forward in their cleanup efforts.
  3. c) Plastic Collection Results: As of June 2023, the Ocean Cleanup Charity has removed 2.6 million kilograms of plastic waste from rivers and oceans. These impressive results demonstrate their ability to make a tangible impact on the global plastic pollution crisis.

Global Impact and Collaboration: Their mission extends beyond the boundaries of any single organisation or country. They actively engage in partnerships with governments, research institutions, and NGOs, fostering collaborations that amplify their impact on a global scale. By working together, we can collectively address the urgent need for ocean cleanup and protect our precious marine ecosystems.

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