An Ambitious Effort to Clean the Oceans of Plastic

Boyan Slat of the Netherlands is leading a project called “The Ocean Cleanup,” aiming to employ passive barriers to collect plastic moved by the world’s ocean currents.  An estimated nine million tons of plastic reach the oceans annually.  Mr. Slat’s ambitious project is described in a PBS NewsHour segment, “Can this project clean up millions of tons of ocean plastic?” (8 min./29 sec) aired on August 14, 2016, and available online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/can-project-clean-millions-tons-ocean-plastic/.  The segment also gives background information on the problem of plastics in the oceans and how currents move and concentrate the debris into patches, such as the so-called “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (or “Pacific trash vortex”) in the North Pacific Ocean.

For more information on ocean debris, see the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, “Ocean Trash Plaguing Our Sea,” online at http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-news/ocean-trash-plaguing-our-sea; or the National Geographic Society, “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” online at http://nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s