Meet the machine slashing swathes of waste from swirling sea systems
30 SECOND VERSION
We’re taking a look at an initiative that supports our ideology about loving our oceans and protecting them. Ocean Cleanup is preparing to make great strides cleaning up the garbage patch currently ravaging the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of continental America. The technology they are using is revolutionary, but will their efforts be enough?
5 MINUTE VERSION
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch sits between Hawaii and California, swirling away with all manner of rubbish that’s been dumped or drifted out to sea in the current. It’s massive - bigger than most countries - and a massive ecological threat and scientists have confirmed there are 5 garbage patches across the world's oceans where trash, mostly tiny pieces of plastic, accumulate as ocean currents come together in a gyre. The wildlife populating the Pacific - the world’s largest ocean - is endangered by the presence of all of this rubbish, plastic or otherwise, that their bodies, just like ours, cannot properly digest. The difference is that the hungry marine life don’t know better enough to give them a try.
The Ocean Cleanup Project is doing more to rectify this deeply troubling issue than any other development before it. The initiative involves taking a massive floating structure out to the Patch, which uses its branching arms above the surface and descending nets to collect massive swathes of trash into a smaller area, allowing boats to collect the rubbish up and transport it back to land to be reused and recycled like Sea Garbagemen.
Ocean Cleanup Project estimate it will take five years to clean up 50% of the patch - however it can’t be certain that in ten years they will have cleaned it completely as the patch only keeps growing as the rubbish is increasing. However, they are hopeful that by 2050 they will manage to get it all.
The currents of the ocean will automatically direct the autonomous systems to the areas where the most rubbish is already concentrated, furthering the impact that they can have before these bigger plastics can break down into even more dangerous microplastics that creatures sometimes have no choice but to ingest.
If the project has as much impact as it claims to possess, it will be the biggest cleanup project of its kind in history. It is disgraceful that this is being done by private companies funded by investors and not by any governments of the world when the least that said governments could do would be to prevent any more plastics being dumped at sea than there already has been.
At SeaPigs our dedication to preserving our oceans is part of our philosophy and our mission is to reduce plastic production and take responsibility for our products after use. We think the work Ocean Cleanup are doing is essential and wish them every success, and hope to bring awareness to their efforts by sharing this with the SeaPigs herd. We shouldn’t, however, be complacent. The hard work of everyone at Ocean Cleanup does not mean that we can continue to be lazy. We cannot rely on clean up, we need to reduce waste and brands need to take responsibility for their products after use.
Until the endeavour has proved itself, we need to remain vigilant with how we deal with our waste, in a responsible way and we believe that brands should take responsibility for their products after use - that is what we do at SeaPigs.
IF WE MAKE IT WE TAKE IT BACK.