Netherland’s Ocean Cleanup reveals North Sea prototype to clean oceans of plastic
The Netherland-based foundation The Ocean Cleanup has unveiled an ocean cleanup system, North Sea prototype test, which will be deployed for first sea trial later this week.
As part of the experiment, a 100m long barrier segment will be deployed in the North Sea to help validate the survivability of the system.
During the test, sensors will track every motion of the prototype and the loads it is subjected to.
The collected data will enable the development of a system fully resistant to severe conditions during the cleanup of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The Ocean Cleanup CEO and founder Boyan Slat said: "This is a historic day on the path toward clean octsipraseans.
"A successful outcome of this test should put us on track to deploy the first operational pilot system in late 2017.
"I estimate there is a 30% chance the system will break, but either way it will be a good test."
The Dutch Government and Royal Boskalis Westminster, a dredging and marine contractor, are also involved in the project providing €500,000 each into the experiment, reported DutchNews.
The rest of the €1.5m experiment cost has been borne by an undisclosed entity.
Dutch environment minister Sharon Dijksma said: "The Ocean Cleanup is an inspiring example of how we can tackle the growing problem of ocean pollution.
"I hope that with the help of the Dutch government, Boyan's prototype will turn out to be the successful solution for cleaning up the mid-ocean gyres.
"This is crucial to prevent permanent damage to the environment and marine life, due to the degradation and fragmentation of plastic waste materials."
The Ocean Cleanup's cleaning technology, which is powered by the ocean's natural currents, makes use of long floating barriers, which act as an artificial coastline, passively catching and concentrating ocean debris.
The company noted that testing the barriers is important due to their vital role in the cleanup concept.
Image: The Ocean Cleanup unveils an ocean cleanup system prototype. Photo: courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup.