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Viral time-lapse shows incredible technology removing 140 tons of garbage from river: 'Whoever made this is a genius'

"We need this everywhere!"

"We need this everywhere!"

Photo Credit: @theoceancleanup / TikTok

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one incredible time-lapse video shows how even a video of trash can make its case with a little help from interception technology.

The Ocean Cleanup (@theoceancleanup), a Dutch nonprofit with 2 million followers on TikTok, recently posted the time-lapse to its account. 

@theoceancleanup Another 140 tons (37 truckloads) intercepted and extracted from the Rio Las Vacas, Guatemala. #theoceancleanup #plasticpollution ♬ original sound - The Ocean Cleanup

In the video, the Interceptor Barricade captures plastics accumulating in Guatemala's Rio Las Vacas, a river connected to the Caribbean via the Rio Motagua, before an excavator arrives to begin the removal of a reported 140 tons of trash.

To put that in perspective, an adult male African elephant, the largest land mammal, maxes out at only 7 tons. 

"Thirty-seven truckloads really puts [it] into perspective. Thank you guys so much for doing this," one commenter said.

The Ocean Cleanup developed the barricade with the area's seasonal rains in mind. 

The upstream "boom" withstands most of the pressure and collects the majority of the waste, while the downstream "boom" basically functions as a second layer of protection to catch items not caught upstream.

In October 2022, The Ocean Cleanup launched the Interceptor 007 in California, and the company plans to remove 90% of ocean plastics by 2040. 

A big part of that battle is intercepting the trash before it ever reaches the larger bodies of water. According to the nonprofit, most ocean plastic pollution — a whopping 80% —  enters via 1,000 rivers. 

Cleaning up our waterways benefits not only animals but people, too. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, microplastics — which can absorb toxic chemicals — can unintentionally be consumed by popular seafood such as fish and shellfish, and research is ongoing regarding long-term implications. 

Marine wildlife can also get trapped in items like soda rings or starve after filling their stomachs with the debris. 

The Ocean Cleanup's time-lapse demonstrates how innovative solutions provide hope, and the viewers didn't hold back their praise.

"I've seen yalls prototypes get better and better!! Keep up the amazing work for the better of mankind!" one commenter wrote.

"We need this everywhere! Whoever made this is a genius," another said. 

"You all are doing beautiful work!" wrote another. 

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