Updates

General, Engineering

System Design Upgrades Completed, to be Relaunched in June

Last September, we deployed System 001 into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – marking the first-ever attempt to start cleaning it up. During the last campaign, we confirmed many key assumptions of the design, but also encountered two unscheduled learning opportunities: the system did not maintain a sufficient speed, allowing...

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Research

Whales likely impacted by Great Pacific Garbage Patch

A scientific note we published on April 09, 2019 reports the records of whales within the world’s largest accumulation of floating ocean plastic: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Over the past few weeks, two whales beached with large amounts of plastic in their stomachs making news headlines, one in the Phillippines and the other...

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Engineering, General

System 001 Learnings - Root Causes Summarized

In September, we launched our first system, with the aim of achieving proof of technology and commencing cleanup. Twenty years after the discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, this was the first time a system was deployed to start to clean it up. We did this after completing hundreds of scale model tests and a series of nearshore...

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General, Oceanography

The Ocean Cleanup and the Neuston

On January 22, an opinion piece was published in The Atlantic, originally titled “The Ocean Cleanup Project Could Destroy the Neuston.”[1] Since preventing the destruction of ocean ecosystems is the main purpose of the cleanup effort, any potentially significant environmental side-effect is taken very seriously by our team....

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Oceanography, Research

Where Mismanaged Plastic Waste is Generated and Possible Paths of Change

As we kick off 2019, the engineering team is working towards solutions to the challenges we face with System 001, while the research team remains focused on the study of oceanic plastic pollution. We believe that it is essential to understand the problem of ocean plastic pollution if we are to effectively solve it. Fortunately, our...

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Research, Oceanography

Chasing Plastics: How to Close the Ocean Plastic Mass Balance

At The Ocean Cleanup we believe that you cannot solve a problem if you do not fully understand it. For this reason, we have put extensive efforts into fundamental plastic pollution research since the very beginning to help guide us to the best set of solutions. This work has continued in parallel to the development and deployment of our...

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General

Wilson to Return to Port for Repair and Upgrade

Due to a structural malfunctioning of the cleanup system, today we made the decision to return to port earlier than planned. We will set sail as soon as an appropriate weather window is available. On Saturday, December 29th, during a regular inspection of the cleanup system, our offshore crew discovered that an 18-meter end-section had...

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General, Testing

Testing Continues to Understand System Behavior

Shift 3 has recently arrived at the System 001 location in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), where a series of tests will be conducted to help us understand why Wilson is not retaining plastic. Through this, we hope to learn as much as we can to be able to apply tactical solutions on Shift 4 (departing in five weeks).  STATUS...

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General, Engineering

Wilson Update - Tweaking the System

It has been four weeks since we deployed System 001 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). In this time, we have observed that plastic is exiting the system once it is collected, so we are currently working on causes and solutions to remedy this. Because this is our beta system, and this is the first deployment of any ocean cleanup...

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General

Cleanup Commences: System 001 Has Arrived

On October 3rd, System 001 embarked on its final leg of the journey to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We are happy to announce that it has reached its intended location and has been deployed into operational configuration; the cleanup has officially begun. The Pacific Trials provided us with our last chance to test the system before...

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