Technology

Cleanup using conventional methods - vessels and nets - would take thousands of years and tens of billions of dollars to complete. Our passive system could remove about half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years, at a fraction of the cost.

Why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you?

Why move through the ocean, if the ocean can move through you?

Ocean garbage patches are vast but dispersed. By acting like an artificial coastline, we passively concentrate the plastic by orders of magnitude, 100% powered by natural ocean currents.
  • Autonomous

    Offshore operations are expensive. Through a minimal amount of moving parts full autonomy should be achievable.

  • Energy neutral

    The Ocean Cleanup fully relies on the natural ocean currents to catch and concentrate the debris, and requires no external energy source.

  • Scalable

    The modular array approach can be applied on any scale; from small-scale systems to intercept plastic near land, to 100+ km installations to clean up ocean garbage patches.

How the oceans can clean themselves

Our floating barriers are designed to capture virtually any type of debris. Models show that by utilising vast rotational ocean currents, a single 100km installation can catch almost half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years.

Go with the flow

If you try to fight the ocean, you will lose. The Ocean Cleanup Array is designed to be as flexible as possible. This allows it to move along with the waves, which is key in ensuring the structure will be able to survive the most extreme conditions.

This is the first solution the size of which matches the size of the problem

  • 10× further

    from land than the world’s most remote oil rig

  • 50% deeper

    moored than anything that has ever been deployed in the oceans

  • 100× longer

    than anything floating in operation at sea

Pilot phase

Cleaning the oceans isn’t easy. But by carefully scaling up and working together with world-renown offshore companies (such as SBM Offshore, Heerema and Boskalis) and institutes (including IMARES, Deltares and MARIN), we believe initiating the cleanup by 2020 is achievable.

Our R&D strategy leans on the notion that you learn more during a week of testing than during a year behind a computer. We test fast and often, not to prove ourselves right, but to look for the things that don’t yet work as planned.

Financing the cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup current solely relies on sponsorships and philanthropic support to advance its technology to the point it can be rolled out on the full scale. However, on the long term, The Ocean Cleanup aims to make the cleanup operation self-sustainable by monetizing the extracted plastic through recycling. By directly selling the semi-finished product to B2C companies, we believe the material can be priced at a premium, benefitting from the marketing value of Ocean Plastics.

So far our recycling research has shown that Ocean Plastic is a suitable feedstock for a vast range of applications.

Careers

We will only be able to fulfil our mission by working together with the best people.

Join the team