17 Oct 2018 - The Ocean Cleanup foundation has taken on the mission of clearing all plastic from the”Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a giant trash pile located between Hawaii and San Francisco, by using a 2,000 foot-long floating pipe, reports CNN.
The amount of trash making its way into the world’s oceans is expected to triple in the coming decades, posing a huge threat to the oceans, sea life, and even humans. The 150 million tons of plastic floating in the ocean contributes to climate change, impacts the fishing industry, and contaminates our food.
With the goal of ridding the oceans of debris, the Ocean Cleanup foundation invented a pipe, nicknamed Wilson, that is shaped like a U and traps floating trash with a three-meter-deep net. The idea behind Wilson is to contain the plastic and debris in one spot so that a boat can make trips back and forth to collect the plastic and recycle it on land.
The pipe took five years to complete and communicates through satellite pods, continuously sending data back to headquarters and boats located around the world. The foundation hopes that by 2019, the pipe will be able to collect 50 tons of trash, and by 2040, will have collected 90 percent of the plastic floating in the world’s oceans.