A Dutch startup, The Ocean Cleanup, working to remove plastic garbage from the Pacific Ocean, said it’s marking a significant milestone: extracting 100,000 kg (220,462 lbs) of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, has been working on eliminating the world of the GPGP since 2013.
Boyan Slat, Founder & CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, said the company’s current cleanup platform, System 002, has collected 101,353kg of plastic since being deployed in August 2021. The cleanups swept a 3,000 square kilometer area of the Pacific, roughly equivalent to the size of Luxembourg or Rhode Island.
Along with 7,173kg of plastic removed using a previous prototype, its total collection has now reached 108,526 kilograms, or the dry weight of a two-and-a-half Boeing 737-800s or a space shuttle Slat said. The plastic removed by the group is sent for recycling and used for its own merchandise. The GPGP, at least the patch located off the western coast of the US and not on the other side of the ocean near Japan, is massive, allegedly occupying 1.6 million square kilometers or around 617,000 square miles.