Unless you have been living under Patrick the starfishes rock house we are sure you’re all well aware of how plastic is clogging the ocean. But if we’re honest, we still ain’t talking the talk and certainly not walking the walk when it comes to individual responsibility. Not only is it actually f**king ridiculous it’s also straight up unhealthy on multiple grounds.
Tackling the issue on land is hard enough, but attempting to rid the oceans of this chronic disease is almost unfathomable. The logistics alone would give any math demi-god a migraine. On the 8th September, a potentially helpful tool was deployed from San Francisco to at least chip away at the gargantuan problem.
Picture a 2,000-foot tube with a 3m summer frock dangling below it. The idea is that the tube will be drawn into a U-shape by currents, where it will collect plastic detritus floating in all its forms. From here specialized ships will pull in and do battle collecting all the plastic kak before lugging it off to a land for recycling.
If it all goes swimmingly this oversized pool noodle will be towed out to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, that massive swirling patch of synthetic filth out in the big blue. The Ocean Cleanup, the company behind this heroic campaign which raised over $20 million monies to get this plan from the drawing board to the ocean. The brainchild behind it all 24-year-old Boyan Slat, what a legend.
Marine experts are worried, however, due to the potential impact to ocean life of dragging multi-thousand-foot-long vessels collecting giant amounts of plastic garbage through the seas constantly.
“There’s worry that you can’t remove the plastic without removing marine life at the same time,” George Leonard, chief scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, told the New York Times. “We know from the fishing industry if you put any sort of structure in the open ocean, it acts as a fish-aggregating device.”
Concerns have also been raised around the potential impacts to the migratory patterns of many marine creatures, as well as whether or not the tubes will break or fail over time, simply adding to the plastic problem it was meant to clean up in the first place. But hey we gotta try something right?