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The Ocean Cleanup Project

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posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 02:14 PM
Update from Boyan Slat on 21 July, 2018.

Until now, the deployment was always stated, "Summer 2018" with no definitive date. Then, last year, they found issues with the original design (sea anchor to slow down the boom). The update explains that they left off the sea anchor and use the wind and waves to push the boom along faster than they had originally planned! This design change was incorporated into their plans last year. They manufactured the boom with these changes in mind.

The he said what we have been waiting for:

After completing the redesign last summer and passing third-party reviews, this is the design that is currently being constructed and is set to head into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch two months from now.

Boyan Slat,, Updates

That would place it at the end of September!


posted on Aug, 23 2018 @ 06:32 PM
UPDATE: Launch date is set!

After 273 scale model tests, six at-sea prototypes, mapping the patch with 30 vessels and an airplane, and going through several technology iterations, we are now ready to put the first ocean cleanup system to the test, launching from San Francisco on September 8th., updates - A Peculiar Survey.

The article is a long post concerning critics of the project and their defense.

But it is the hard date of launch from San Fran that is important!

Saturday, September 8.

ETA: They have countdown on their twitter page, @TheOceanCleanup
edit on 23-8-2018 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: add more info

posted on Aug, 29 2018 @ 07:06 PM

"We are truly proud to be supporting the installation of the Ocean Cleanup's first system," said Steen S. Karstensen, CEO of Maersk Supply Service. "Large towing operations have been a part of Maersk Supply Service's work-scope for decades. It is rewarding to see that our marine capabilities can be utilized within new segments, and to support solving such an important environmental issue."

Departing on September 8, 2018, the system will be delivered 250 nautical miles offshore for a two [...] week sea trial before towage to the final deployment location at the GPGP.

Maersk Supply Service will in addition to the towing and installation, be monitoring The Ocean Cleanup's System 001. Total duration of the campaign is expected to be 60 days. - Maersk Supply joins Ocean Cleanup project.

Details!! TOC does not even have these details up on their web site!

Good for Maersk! Way help out this experiment! Now we will see how much plastic and trash can be hauled in 60-days.

posted on Aug, 29 2018 @ 07:17 PM
Wow, talk about creating a career for yourself, and then stepping into it.
This is important business and he should get another award for just being there.

The big problem is the treatment of the plastics. I would think that they would all be melted or ground and compressed as a solid. Just where would one put all of that stuff?
edit on 29-8-2018 by charlyv because: spelling , where caught

posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 12:59 PM
a reply to: charlyv

Here is an article covering the idea and all the naysayers from the launch date last weekend. - Massive boom hopes to corral Pacific Ocean's plastic trash.

Some of it is going to be recycled as products sold to help fund the project. Until the tech is developed, I suspect it will be land filled.

Some tech to keep an eye on a) GM enzymes that break any plastic back down to constituent chemicals to make 'clean' plastics (announced last year and still being researched. Called "depolymerization," this works across different versions of plastics); b) Turning plastic into hydrogen for use in fuel cell vehicles (they do not need to clean the plastic before adding bacteria and said that grease and oil make the process easier! This is like from last week so it is mainly an idea but who knows!?)

As always, there is no one solution. Reduction, education, recycling, re-use, all need to be done. But we need to do something! And yeah, who gets to have an idea realized with millions in backing and Mearsk providing a ship full of marine biologists to actively monitor your experiment?!!

posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 01:20 PM

After 5 years of research, engineering and testing, we launched the world’s first ocean cleanup system [System 001, “Wilson" (same source)] from San Francisco Bay, marking the start of the cleanup. The system is now on its way to an intermediary test stop, 250-350 nautical miles offshore for a 2-week trial before continuing its journey toward the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 1,200 nautical miles offshore, to start the cleanup., Sept. 9, 2018 - System 001 Has Launched Into The Pacific.

A short trip out then a 2-week trial run. Then out to the GPGP for 60 days. Wilson now has his own sub-site, from TOC's main site (has a map with the current location shown).

Here is to not encountering anything weather-wise like Lane during this run!

posted on Sep, 10 2018 @ 05:42 PM

It's nice to read some good news. Fair winds and following seas.

posted on Sep, 18 2018 @ 03:42 PM
a reply to: VictorVonDoom

They have been at a week. They reported yesterday (twitter) that the seas are cooperating. Today they posted a checklist of item they need to demonstrate prior to taking to GPGP.

The checklist (source: twitter, @TheOceanCleanup)

  • U-shape installation
  • Sufficient speed through water
  • Ability to reorient when wind-wave direction changes
  • Effective span in steady state
  • No significant damage by End of Test

The first has already been accomplished! YAY!

I do not have a twitter account but this would make having worthwhile.

Yeah, good news is a nice change! Now, face into the wind, boys!


I found a nice explanation for turning plastic waste into hydrogen fuel.

Here's how it works:

1. The catalyst is put onto the plastic.
2. Then the plastic is put into a "test tube" containing a concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide (lye).
3. The tube is put in the sun.
4. The plastic decomposes into small organic molecules and hydrogen is generated. (Amer. Council on Science and Health) - Some Cool Chemistry - Using Light To Turn Waste Plastic Into Hydrogen Fuel.

Seems straightforward! The other article adds a photo-catalyst to speed up the process which is their 'breakthrough' but sunlight (and water) is all it really takes. Which is another reason to clean up the oceans, all the other chemicals also tend to leach out which only add to greenhouse gasses.

One more read for when you have the time (an interview but the numbers are staggering): Stanford ocean and engineering experts discuss scale of plastic waste problem and potential solutions.

posted on Sep, 18 2018 @ 04:04 PM

Warm and fuzzy feelings here too...but there are a lot of people out there taking the initiative and bringing innovation to some of the wicked messes we have have made rather than burying their heads in the sand or disappearing into bubbles. We shouldn't ever give up on all of mankind, just make sure that we are giving our support (and the power in our pockets) to those fighting the fight.

Where there's life...


posted on Sep, 18 2018 @ 04:35 PM
a reply to: KilgoreTrout

The storm, one of Hong Kong’s strongest in recent years, left behind a trail of destruction of plastic and polystyrene foam in parts of the territory.

The clean-up operation began on Monday, with massive piles of plastic waste pictured in Heng Fa Chuen, on the east of Hong Kong Island.

Evening Standard ( - Typhoon Mangkhut: shocking extent of plastic waste in oceans highlighted as masses of litter wash ashore.

Hi KT! Thanks for the reply!!

Unlike biodegradables or other items, plastic just sits there slowly making its way to one of the ocean's gyres. Unless a massive storm pushes it back onshore. Those photos are amazing.

After wind storms, I would see plastic shopping bags stuck in mesh fences all around town. Then one day I decided to swap over to non-disposable (and made from recycled plastic) shopping bags. One for a six pack of wine and one for groceries! A simple switch for me to cut down on personal usage. I don't even think about it anymore. Every little bit helps when this is a global issue, right?

I really do wish success to the 60-day run of System-001!! And to all of mankind (and womankind, and all the PC laws I just broke by gender identifying the whole world, sorry. The nerve!), we are so close! Wind, solar, hydrogen, are being put to use. Fusion research continues moving forward (the world record for non-destructive magnetic fields was created and is a whole order of magnitude stronger than anything before), just a bit more time and we will cross the finish line. All of human kind. And then we can get on with being kind humans!

posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 02:15 PM

originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
I really do wish success to the 60-day run of System-001!! And to all of mankind (and womankind, and all the PC laws I just broke by gender identifying the whole world, sorry. The nerve!), we are so close! Wind, solar, hydrogen, are being put to use. Fusion research continues moving forward (the world record for non-destructive magnetic fields was created and is a whole order of magnitude stronger than anything before), just a bit more time and we will cross the finish line. All of human kind. And then we can get on with being kind humans!

That sounds wonderful. I too have my own shopping bags, I still get plastic carriers with my delivered shopping, it's hard to manage without them then, but they get collected and recycled back, not ideal though, I need to work on that.

Every little does indeed help and it only requires tweaks in our habits like making the investment in renewables as consumers.

Cheers again

posted on Sep, 20 2018 @ 12:15 AM

Once again, I want to extend a hearty thank you for keeping us updated on this.

I have a lot of confidence that this will prove successful. Then the next step would be to get a government behind this. It would be nice for a country to take the lead on this and then try to get others to join in.

That's the kind of world I'd like to see. Imagine the US, Russia, China, Iran, Israel, any country with a navy working together on a project like this. I'd give up complaining about taxes and bankers to see that happen. I'd even give up tequila.

Right now, I feel a little guilty that it would take that much for me to give up tequila.

posted on Sep, 20 2018 @ 02:42 PM

About the Checklist

1. U-shape installation

The u-shape is integral to conduct many of our tests and this will be the first time the system is ever in its intended shape. To do this, we must connect the four closing lines inside the system.

2. Sufficient speed through water

We will test the system’s speed to ensure that it does move faster than the plastic. This detail is essential for capturing plastic within the system.

3. Ability to reorient when wind/wave direction changes

For these tests we will tow the system in various directions against the wind (45, 90 and 180 degrees). When facing different directions, the system should reposition itself facing the plastic again.

4. Effective span in steady state

The width of the system will fluctuate based on the conditions of the ocean, but it must stay in a desirable range in order for it to capture and retain plastic.

5. No significant damage by the end of the test

We want to ensure the system can withstand the conditions of the ocean before we tow it all the way to the patch. We will perform checks at the end of the trials for damage. If we observe severe damage, we will then assess if this can be remedied on or offshore.

Next Steps

We will maintain the u-shape for two weeks. During this time, the system will continue to undergo various additional tests. The crew has already begun testing the system's orientation in different wind directions and aims to complete these tests tomorrow.

With one down and four to go, our goal is to achieve all five of these objectives in the next two weeks. We still have much to learn, so we are taking this time to understand as much as possible. If all items can be checked off, only then can we give the go-ahead to begin the journey to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Stay tuned., updates Pacific Trials - The Gateway to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

They've fleshed out their tweet on their web site. Twitter also has an animated, time-lapsed GIF showing what System-001 looks like after deployment.

Two weeks of moving it around and seeing what happens (probably lots of measurements as well). Cool!

Animated GIF Tweet (twitter, @TheOceanCleanup).

ETA: After the testing, it is another 800 nautical miles to the GPGP (TOC site)


a reply to: VictorVonDoom

No problem! I was going to follow this anyway. I am glad that others are interested and curious to see what happens.

edit on 20-9-2018 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: add more info

posted on Sep, 20 2018 @ 05:16 PM

The key part of the abstract is this bit:

plastic concentrations drop exponentially with water depth, and decay rates decrease with increasing Beaufort number. Furthermore, smaller pieces presented lower rise velocities and were more susceptible to vertical transport. This resulted in higher depth decays of plastic mass concentration (milligrams/m^3) than numerical concentration (pieces/m^3).

Julia Reisser et al., - The vertical distribution of buoyant plastics at sea: an observational study in the North Atlantic Gyre - Ocean Plastic Cleanup Project Is Better News Than You Might Think.

Basically, a vertical study of the distribution of plastics in the North Atlantic gyre was done. They found the floating plastics concentrated in first 20 inches (~50 cm: same source). Then dropping off exponentially the deeper one goes.

System-001 has a 3 meter (~10 foot) curtain extending below it catching macro plastic. If the GPGP is anything like its Atlantic sibling that should be plenty!

The article's author at Cleantechnica was doubtful about TOC at first. He was under the impression that plastics were equally distributed vertically. Now, he sounds like a convert!

posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 11:36 AM
Well, they hit a stretch of bad weather which held up some testing. There has been no updates on the web site.

On the twittersphere however, they tweeted this:

System 001 is back in towing config and is on it's way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch right now

@TheOceanCleanup (twitter)

It is on its way!!

posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 05:37 PM
a reply to: TEOT

The thread had the following question: "How long will it take to get there [GPGP]?"

A: "About twelve days"

October 14/15, System-001 will be deployed, check out, then starts the 60-day run!

Source: @TheOceanCleanup (twitter).

posted on Oct, 17 2018 @ 12:12 PM

Source:, @TheOceanCleanup


Now begins the 60 day trial of System-001 on its own in the GPGP!

Deployment date: October 17, 2018
Plus 60 days: December 16

posted on Oct, 17 2018 @ 02:54 PM

Boyan Slat's personal tweet about 1 hour ago!

I wonder what is going to happen? I wonder how long before System-001 phones in "I'm all full"??

This if freakin' awesome!!

posted on Oct, 18 2018 @ 04:59 PM

With the system now installed in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the team will soon get a better handle on how efficient it truly is in collecting plastic waste and its impacts on marine species. All going to plan, the team hopes to deploy a fleet of 60 systems over the coming two years, which, according to modeling by the Project, could remove half of the plastic in the patch within five years. The first plastics are expected to be returned to land within six months., Oct. 17, 2018 - Ocean Cleanup system installed and ready for work at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Boyan answered a few comments from his tweet in the previous post. He said they are going to run the full test of System-001 and go over the results before adding System-002. The above info I did not know! A fleet of 60 booms in 2 years is ambitious. But he has come this far so I would not bet against him!

for the idea, the plan, creating the project, and seeing it through to execution! Way better, and probably more educational, than studying engineering in university!

posted on Oct, 19 2018 @ 05:01 AM

originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

The first plastics are expected to be returned to land within six months., Oct. 17, 2018 - Ocean Cleanup system installed and ready for work at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Thanks for keeping us updated.

Just wondering though...what infrastructure is there in place to 'deal' with the plastic waste when it arrives back on shore and to prevent such build ups from reoccurring? There was an article in The Guardian yesterday with regards to an investigation that has been launched into corruption and fraud within the plastics recycling business, it seems that many are not recycling at all.

The Environment Agency (EA) has set up a team of investigators, including three retired police officers, in an attempt to deal with complaints that organised criminals and firms are abusing the system.

Six UK exporters of plastic waste have had their licences suspended or cancelled in the last three months, according to EA data. One firm has had 57 containers of plastic waste stopped at UK ports in the last three years due to concerns over contamination of waste.

Allegations that the agency is understood to be investigating include:

Exporters are falsely claiming for tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic waste which might not exist

UK plastic waste is not being recycled and is being left to leak into rivers and oceans

Illegal shipments of plastic waste are being routed to the Far East via the Netherlands

UK firms with serial offences of shipping contaminated waste are being allowed to continue exporting.

UK households and businesses used 11m tonnes of packaging last year, according to government figures. Two-thirds of our plastic packaging waste is exported by an export industry which was worth more than £50m last year.

The exporters make millions by charging retailers and manufacturers a fluctuating tonnage rate for plastic waste recovery notes – currently £60 a tonne. Retailers buy these plastic export recovery notes – Perns – to satisfy the government they are contributing something to recycling plastic packaging waste.

In the UK it seems that we are still of the frame of mind that pushing the problem around is a viable solution, that and ignoring it in the hope that it will go away.

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