What went right: the garbage patch cleanup, plus more positive news

The great garbage patch cleanup was a landmark

It is emblematic of our throwaway society and a stark reminder of the dangers of single-use plastic. However, this week’s milestone reached: 100,000 kg of plastic was removed from the Great Pacific garbage patches. 

Admittedly, it’s small fry. The floating mass of rubbish, which covers an area twice as large as Texas, is 1,000 times largerThere is more to it than what has been done so far. The Dutch nonprofit behind the project is, however. The Ocean Cleanup, said that it was planning to scale up. 

“We are ready to move on to our new and expanded system, which is expected to capture plastic at a rate potentially 10 times higher,” said Boyan Slat, its CEO.  

Ocean Cleanup uses computer-generated models to predict the locations where large quantities of rubbish will accumulate. Then, it skims the rubbish from the sea with giant booms. Similar technology is used by the nonprofit at river mouths to prevent plastic from entering the oceans.

Image: The Ocean Cleanup