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 multi-kilometer installations to clean up ocean garbage patches.

How the oceans can clean themselves

Our passive cleanup units are designed to capture virtually any type of debris. Models show that by utilising vast rotational ocean currents, cleanup systems with a combined span of 100km can harvest 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

MOVING TOWARDS EXECUTION

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.

After many scale model tests and prototyping parts of the system, we now prepare to launch the Pilot: the world’s first operational ocean cleanup system, scheduled for deployment in late 2017. We now welcome companies and individuals to partner on this first milestone project.

Financing the cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is currently funded through a combination of corporate partnerships and philanthropic support, through which we aim to reach proven technology stage next year. But on the longer term, once the cleanup systems have been installed, 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 brand 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

Apply your engineering expertise to make the oceans clean again.

Join the team