An ambitious, innovative project tasked with cleaning thousands of tonnes of floating plastic in the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", located between California and Hawaii, has suffered a temporary setback. Invented by Boyan Slat when he was only 17, the 2,000-foot-long U-shaped floating barrier was designed to travel with wave and wind propulsion to remove all of the plastic trash that has piled up in the Pacific Ocean.
System 001 was deployed last year and hasn't quite lived up to its potential. According to Slat, the barrier would occasionally drift out of the U-shaped funnel, a problem that recently caused a 60-foot-long section to break away from the rest of the barrier. Slat and his team believe that the materials involved in its construction need to be reinforced due to wear and tear from the battering waves and intense storms. Nevertheless, him and his team believe they are "relatively close to getting it working".
The "giant pool noodle" device is being taken to Hawaii, 260 miles away, for repairs and improvements. If they can perfect the system, the device could extract around 55 tons of plastic from the ocean every year, with a long-term goal of deploying 60 systems that would extract 50 percent of the Pacific Garbage Patch plastic every five years.
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Coty White is a journalist at GoldenGOAT Articles that specializes in business, travel, lifestyle, innovation and the environment. Aside from his time spent as a reporter, he is an active stock trader and current owner of four successful companies.