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This new technology might be the key to cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The new trash-collecting system can remove over 55,000 pounds of garbage at a time.

Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies a massive collection of trash, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). This gigantic accumulation of garbage, roughly the size of Alaska, endangers our oceans as well as the animals that call these waters home.

Last year The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit based in the Netherlands, announced that it developed technology it believes can effectively and efficiently extract floating plastic from the GPGP.

That technology in question? You can call her Jenny. 

Jenny, also known as System 002, moves through the water capturing debris before it can float away. Jenny went through rigorous tests over the course of three months in 2021, successfully reeling in 63,000 pounds of floating debris and plastic from the GPGP. 

Ultimately, The Ocean Cleanup decided that while Jenny could reel in garbage without harming aquatic life, a newer system would be needed to cost-effectively eliminate most of the floating debris in the GPGP.

Enter System 03.

System 03, a moving plastic collection system over 1.5 miles in length, is essentially a larger version of Jenny. According to The Ocean Cleanup, it will be capable of scooping up 55,000 pounds of debris at a time. 

System 03 will use computer modeling to determine where the floating debris-collecting systems should go to capture as much trash as possible. 

The Ocean Cleanup's new and improved plan to attack the GPGP estimates that a squad of ten of these new systems could remove the entirety of the GPGP and its 220+ million pounds of plastic waste. 

Jenny will be used until System 03 is ready for deployment, which could be as early as 2023.

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