Amazing project. Ginormous doesn't begin to describe the aspirations or the size of this project. Boyan Slat is a young engineer spearheading this effort to clean up the five gigantic gyres of plastic garbage in the planet's oceans. Of course the plan is to recycle it but, instead of taking 79,000 years (a recent best estimate) he came up with a PERMACULTURE solution (yep, the problem turned into part of the solution) which aims for less than 100 years. Video 7 mins (permie moment @3:30): Boyan Slat interview Website: The Ocean Cleanup
the harvesters he designed might work but it is not going to do a darn bit of good unless the plastic can be disposed of. we have enough fleets that we could use this to provide the fuel to clean it up. problem i have seen in all of these schema is the end game. his idea was to bale it up and put it on ships, much of that plastic is from ships dumping recycling over the side because we bale it up and try to send it to china or africa to be reprocessed. price per ton drops and they toss it overboard. turning it into oil again on ship board operating the ship on the plastic makes more sense. IMO getting the fleets to go out and drag up the plastic that is far deeper converting it to fuel and ending the making of plastic with petroleum would be the better idea. there are lots of plant derived oils that arent toxins and nature knows how to deal with.
the other weakness in this is depth; the skimmer only works on the surface but the gyre's are a thousand feet or more deep. that also need to be dealt with, plastic microbeads and the broken down plastic has far nastier effects long tern than just the big stuff. ah well we will continue to throw money at it without fixing anything till we choke the might actually adopt a long term detailed solution.
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