The world Oceans have unimaginable plastic debris floating around. As per the Ocean Cleanup project will use the long beam with the length of 100 kilometers using the ocean current. It will collect the plastic debris. The attached multiple trough remains up to ten feet below the water surface. The proposed project expenditure estimates are about $14.3 million. On completion of the trials, the project is to take off in 2020 and expects to reduce the plastic garbage would reduce by 42%.
Photo Credit: Dainik Bhaskar
Solid materials, typically waste, that has found its way to the marine environment is called marine debris. It is known to be the cause of injuries and deaths of numerous marine animals and birds, either because they become entangled in it, or they mistake it for prey and eat it.
At least 267 separate species are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine rubble including seabirds, turtles, seals, sea lions, whales, and fish. The scale of pollution of the marine ecosystem by plastic debris is enormous. It is observed drifting in all the world’s oceans, everywhere from polar regions to the equator.
Experts have estimated that at least one million seabirds and one hundred thousandfold marine mammals die each year due to plastic pollution. The durability of at least 100 species, including the Hawaiian Monk Seal and Loggerhead Turtle, could be jeopardized by plastic debris. Plastic contamination is also a carrier of invasive species, threatening native ecosystems. The humans get poisoned by the toxicity of the plastics indirectly.
Synthetic contamination causes at least 13 billion U.S. dollars in pollution annually to entrepreneurs that include trawling, shipping and tourism industries. The US West Coast states spend approximately $500 million annually to clean up their beaches. The cost of removing debris from beaches averages $1,500 per ton and can reach up to $25,000 per ton (APEC 2009).
Ocean plastic absorbs toxic chemicals (including PCBs and DDTs), increasing their concentration by a million. These persistent organic pollutants enter and bio-accumulate in the food chain, resulting in an even higher concentration of pollutants in fish, including species consumed by humans. Health effects linked to these chemicals are cancer, malformation and impaired reproduction (Takada, oceanhealthindex.org).
History of Project Ocean Cleanup:
By Boyan Slat, the founder, and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup:-
The short history of Ocean clean project is fascinating. Self, the high school science student, had to participate in 2013 the science project on control of ocean debris of plastic clean up. It surprised him to learn of the collection of thousand of tons of the plastic waste over a thousand miles away from the land, right in the middle of the oceans, where no human being has ever gone. The amount of plastic debris deposited is about six times more than the plankton ( organisms that include drifting animals, protists, archaea, algae, or bacteria that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. He was equally amazed to know of circular movement of the ocean water in both the hemisphere in the subtropical latitudes. It is called the circular currents or the Gyre effect of oceanic water. All the plastic found its way there due to the water movement from land to the remote ocean.Via
Oceans could Clean themselves:
The idea germinated in his mind that the oceans could clean themselves through the gyre effect of water instead of human doing the job using vessels and nets in the middle of the oceans. He researched and followed the idea even after joining the Aerospace Engineering course. He along with his well-wishers sent 50 questions to Scientists, Professors and Industry men explaining the idea and asked how to proceed. The response was not enough, and it seemed that the dead end was in sight. But then, suddenly on 26th of March 2013 he started receiving 1500 emails every day, the idea had gone viral. Things fell into shape, and a team of 100 volunteers from all walks of life joined. And now the feasibility study got started with salient points.
– No nets to be used thus not endangering the marine life.
– The plastic gathered would get converted to oil thus saving a lot of money. The project would be cost effective because of the revenue generated due to oil.
– The beam used will extend up to 50 km to the depth of 3 meters.
– 162 solar panels are used to produce power for the platform for collection of the plastic for recycling.