Cleaning The Great Pacific Garbage Patch- Finally

Jacob Rothenberger, Online Editor

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a larger than Texas sized island of Garbage that is floating in the Pacific Ocean. It was first described by a scientific journal in 1988, and has continued to be a problem and major talking point on conservation. After many years, however, a major effort is finally underway to try to get the trash under wraps.

The Ocean Cleanup Project deployed their system to help clean up on September 8, and is currently testing the system to make sure it performs how it is expected to. The project is a large tube with a net hanging beneath it that will corral the garbage, which allows smaller ships to come and carry small portions of trash back to land. The net will allow sea animals to swim under the encircling tube, and escape to open ocean.

The Patch of garbage, which is currently weighing at about 80,000 metric tons, is not a problem that will go away on its on. It is estimated that 8000 tons of trash winds up into the worlds oceans every year, much of which will wind up in one of the many oceanic garbage patches that haunt our oceans. The Ocean Cleanup Project predicts that it will clear 50,000 tons of trash from the patch yearly, being able to halve the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years.