Trash Collection: Will This Approach To Clean Up Our Oceans Actually Work?
Trash collection: if you are a regular reader of our blogs – you will be more than aware of the ongoing and worsening rubbish and pollution issue in the Pacific Ocean -known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
This huge area of floating rubbish and mostly plastic is caused by a number of factors:
– A lack of proper and modern trash collection services in many countries
– The proliferation of single use plastics over the last 50 years
– And the winds and tides that enable such a huge floating mess to coalesce in one area of the ocean.
In today’s blog we will look at a huge trash collection device that is planned to float in the open ocean and combat the problem. Despite raising millions of dollars to fund the project – there are big question marks as to whether the project will actually work.
But first – a little bit about Waster
Waster is a trash collection and recycling business designed specifically for small and medium companies. We work with cafes, warehouses, offices and factories to boost recycling, provide reliable trash collection bin services and keep costs as low as possible.
If you are a small business (or a business of any size )- you can easily and confidently arrange your waste disposal services online with Waster.
All our trash collection and recycling services are based on flexible 30 day agreements – so you never need to worry about hidden fees. You can see our ts and cs. here.
Can this huge rubber ring really perform trash collection in the ocean?
We have covered the Ocean Cleanup project in a previous blog. This is a very ambitious and innovative project by a young entrepreneur called Boyan Slat – to deal with the out of control debris issue.
The project is now at a stage where it is ready to test a 120 metre rubber ring that aims to trap and perform trash collection on a giant scale.
“The pilot being launched this year — called a “floater” — consists of a 600-metre-long, floating hard-walled tube made from high-density polyurethane (HDPE).”
“A screen a few metres deep will run the length of the floater, “able to catch anything from one-centimetre plastic particles up to large, discarded fishing nets”.
This test is seen as a precursor to larger 600 metre rubber ring systems – of which there will be 60 in total.
The ABC reports how confident the young environmental entrepreneur is:
At a launch in 2017, Mr Slat told a large crowd — including many of his financial backers — the devices will be able to “clean-up 50 per cent of the patch in just five years”.
What could possible go wrong?
There is a saying – that what can go wrong will go wrong.
The ABC article reports a number of concerns about the future success of the venture.
“Critics say the apparatus will act as an aggregating device that will attract and trap marine life, and that environmental impact studies have been insufficient to eliminate risk.”
“Many also believe powerful swells in the North Pacific will smash apart the structures, adding even more garbage to the world’s biggest floating dump.”
Some critics think the device will fail and may even become plastic debris itself – the world’s largest amount of plastic junk!
Other critics think it may corral fish and ocean life to congregate where the plastic is – a really bad outcome.
Like any business venture of this magnitude -there are also queries about insurance and who will pay if a ship hits it.
This project is very exciting and of course raises many questions.
The reality is we will not know if it is a trash collection device or actually trash itself until after the sea trials.
We will keep you informed – and lets keep our fingers crossed!
You can check out a video on the project below: