The Ocean Cleanup
Earth & Energy

This 100 Kilometer-Long Floating Barrier May Soon Be Collecting Our Ocean Trash

The garbage collector won't interfere with wildlife and can survive extreme weather.

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The Ocean Cleanup

In an effort to clean the world’s oceans in a simple and efficient way, experts from The Ocean Cleanup are launching a 100 meter-long (328 ft) prototype floating barrier that will collect trash floating in the North Sea.

The plan is to deploy a 100 kilometer-long (62 mile) barrier in the Pacific Ocean and cut the size of the notorious Great Pacific Garbage Patch in half in the next 10 years. The floating barrier was designed not to interfere with wildlife (unlike existing nets) and can last through extreme storms.

One concern is that a massive barrier could mess with the distribution of animals in the region. Displacing sea animals might be a problem given the size of the barrier.

Also, surface pollution is just one part of a larger problem. The bigger challenge is how to discourage people from putting their trash in the seas in the first place.

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