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25,000 pounds of trash pulled from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

25,000 pounds of trash pulled from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Cleanup crews have pulled 25,000 pounds of rubbish from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest ever removal of its kind.

The Ocean Cleanup removed the staggering volume of ocean trash over a four-week period and the non-profit environmental organisation’s vessels are now heading back to Victoria, British Columbia.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that it is difficult to get an accurate measurement as the patch is constantly moving.

But Ocean Cleanup says that the floating pile of trash situated between Hawaii and California is estimated to now be twice the size of Texas.

And it has now grown so much that a new coastal ecosystem is thriving upon it, according to a study published in April by Nature Ecology & Evolution.

The NOAA says that these kinds of patches are dangerous for marine life, which can become entangled in discarded fishing nets and eat plastics and other debris.

Cleanup crews have pulled 25,000 pounds of rubbish from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest ever removal of its kind (The Ocean Cleanup)
Cleanup crews have pulled 25,000 pounds of rubbish from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest ever removal of its kind (The Ocean Cleanup)

The group uses two vessels and a device that skims the water to remove the offending debris.

The system has a 1.4 mile long floating barrier which is towed between the two vessels. The barrier has a screen that drops 13ft beneath the ocean surface where most of the floating plastic can be found.

The ocean garbage was collected over a four-week period (The Ocean Cleanup)
The ocean garbage was collected over a four-week period (The Ocean Cleanup)

Alex Tobin, head of public relations and media for the organisation, says its goal is to remove 90 per cent of floating plastics from oceans by 20240.

“Our goal is to kind of put ourselves out of business,” Mr Tobin told ABC News. “We don’t want to be doing this forever and ever.”

The clean-up was carried out by the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (The Ocean Cleanup)
The clean-up was carried out by the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (The Ocean Cleanup)

The group says that ocean plastic comes from a string of sources, including lost and abandoned fishing gear, as well as consumer waste from rivers.