While the idea to use passive systems to rid world’s oceans of plastic was first floated in 2012, it was still just that – an idea. In order to investigate whether the cleanup technology is indeed an effective method to remediate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, The Ocean Cleanup started off by performing a broad-scoped feasibility study, covering areas including engineering, oceanography and recycling.
A voluntary team of close to 100 scientists and engineers spend a year on completing the 528-page study, which was published on June 3rd, 2014.
Although a lot of the work is now outdated, the feasibility study provides insight in the early stages of The Ocean Cleanup, and some of its indicative conclusions remain relevant today.
- Deploying a 100 km structure in the ocean and deploying it at 4500 m of depth is within the limits of what’s possible with state-of-the-art offshore technology
- Initial modelling indicates that a single system, deployed for 10 years, can remove close to half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
- Existing processing solutions are likely suitable for ocean plastic
- A cleanup is very likely cheaper than the direct impact ocean plastic has on economies
Watch Boyan Slat unveil the Feasibility Study (2014):