You’ve likely heard of 007, but have you heard of 006? That is Interceptor 006, of course.
A TikTok video by The Ocean Cleanup (@theoceancleanup), a page dedicated to “developing and scaling technologies to rid the oceans of plastic” and that boasts 1.8 million followers, showed off the amazing contraption and its recent record trash catch.
The Interceptor Barricade, known as Interceptor 006, is The Ocean Cleanup’s solution to the “tsunamis” of trash that flow from the Rio Las Vacas in Guatemala into the Caribbean Sea.
The video opens by showing the massive barricade filled with trash. Superimposed over it is text that reads: “On Monday, July 31, we extracted a record catch with Interceptor 006.”
It shows machines scooping up the trash behind text reading: “85 truckloads of trash removed … in a single day.”
As the trash is loaded onto trucks and carried away, the text reads: “All this trash is transported for processing at recycling plants, resource recovery facilities, and sanitary landfill by our local partners and waste management authorities … and will no longer make it to the Caribbean Sea — preventing it from harming sea life and entering our food chain.”
@theoceancleanup Interceptor 006 record catch: 85 truckloads of trash in a single day. #theoceancleanup #guatemala #plasticpollution ♬ original sound – The Ocean Cleanup
The 006 has been operational since the end of April, and The Ocean Cleanup reported that since then, it has captured and extracted an estimated 856,973 kilograms, or nearly 2 million pounds, of plastic from the river thus keeping it from our oceans.
This is an incredible feat, considering plastic is one of the largest plagues in our oceans. About 40 million tons of plastic is thrown away every year in America. Of that, upward of 14 million tons ends up in the ocean. Plastic debris is the most abundant type of litter in the ocean, accounting for 80%.
Once in the ocean, plastic debris wreaks havoc on marine ecosystems. Marine wildlife mistake plastic for prey and ingests it, leading to their stomachs being lined with it and eventually starving to death. Ocean plastics also transport invasive marine species, which threaten marine biodiversity and the food chain.
“We are delighted with the positive start Interceptor 006 has made, with around 250 truckloads of trash already prevented from reaching the Caribbean Sea,” Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, said in a press release. “Now we await the real test: a heavy flood and a trash tsunami bringing hundreds of tons of plastic in just a few hours — in the hope that we can fully validate our solution and end these yearly floods of plastic into the Caribbean Sea.’’
Commenters on the post were equally delighted.
“You cannot be thanked enough!🙌” said one.
“Grateful that there is something happening in regards to clean up,” said one viewer, “but goodness, the amount of trash there is shocking.”
“THIS should be the headline on national news!” applauded another.
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