System 001 by Ocean Cleanup deployed at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

October 22, 2018 | Environment
System 001: the 600-meter long technology arrived at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch | Photo: Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup has finally deployed System 001 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, off the coast of California.

After a series of successful trials and tests ran 350 nautical miles offshore, the 600-meter cleanup system embarked on its final leg of the journey.

The long voyage of approximately 1,000 nautical miles to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch took roughly two weeks to complete at an average tow speed of between two-to-four knots.

On October 17, 2018, the Ocean Cleanup crew arrived at the desired destination. It was a milestone, and everyone has been looking forward to for a long time.

Time for Action

"We completed the closing line operation in one day, so it was a great work done by our offshore crew, and that means we are now fully operational," says Henk Van Dalen, project manager at Ocean Cleanup.

"During the Pacific Trials, we mainly tested the hydrodynamic behavior of the system. So really, first of all, letting it float freely, meaning that the wind and wind waves could really propel the system forward, as we would expect it to do in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch."

But the team behind System 001 has also reoriented the u-shaped technology to see if it repositions itself back into the way the wind and waves are acting in extreme weather conditions.

The testing phase got underway for 15 days. Now, the Ocean Cleanup team will monitor the first weeks of operation closely, in constant contact with the support vessel.

Hopefully, System 001 will slowly start to capture plastic which will then be collected and recycled.

According to scientists, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is comprised of between 80,000 and 100,000 tonnes of plastic and other debris.