OCEAN ENGINEERING - Like a giant fishing net that floats on the ocean, this boom of inflatable tubes is designed to use ocean currents to trap plastic. This apparently depends on the relative speeds of the boom in relation to the prevailing currents. It is unclear how the trapped plastic will be collected and recycled or disposed of.
No matter what the present state of the art, the fact that this giant rubber tube found its way out into the Pacific is nothing short of a miracle. It has taken something like $20 million dollars of private funding, and EU2 million euros of crowd funding to make this happen over 5 year period. Boyan Slat began this project when he was 19. At the age of 24 he is making good progress. You cannot expect something so radical to be right first time. The bouncing bomb didn't work to begin with, Barnes Wallace had to perfect it. This is a war, a war against waste. The enemy is all around us, in the countries who allow their population to tip plastic into the sea. It takes a few trial and error experiments to get something untested to work.
The might of the G20 and the United Nations has so far proved to be ineffective. Their member nations simply will not pay for the development needed to get the cleanup ball rolling, despite collecting taxes from companies who are making the plastic and turning a profit from the waste that they are creating. It is total denial and irresponsible management on the part of G20 member nations. To our mind not only maladministration, but also multiple abuses of process. These countries have a system in place that has no flexibility as a safety net to fix things when they get it wrong. This goes for climate change also. It has taken mass protests and even children going on strike from school, before seeing some action - and even then we still do not have agreed and enforceable carbon emission targets from the Paris or Katowice COP party conferences.
If Slat and his engineers can get the boom system to work, we might not need to press ahead with the SeaVax. We'd only need a RiverVax perhaps - but the demand for that may not make it worth expending the development time where we also have climate change and acid oceans to consider. It's a 'hedge your bets,' or maybe 'hold your breath' moment that's for sure. Should SeaVax not be needed, we might concentrate our limited resources on testing zero carbon hulls for a future fleet of clean cargo ships. This is of course just as worthwhile a goal as plastic free oceans - and with that in mind most of our research to date on plastic cleaning will not go to waste.
FOX NEWS 6 JANUARY 2019
- LOS ANGELES – A trash collection device deployed to corral plastic litter floating in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii has broken apart and will be hauled back to dry land for repairs.
OCEAN ALLIES - Boyan Slat's Ocean Cleanup Project continues with this floating boom being deployed in the North Sea for test purposes. Such endeavour can only be applauded and must be supported to see what is possible using this technology.
LINKS & REFERENCE
MARINE LIFE - This humpback whale is one example of a magnificent animal that is at the mercy of human activity. Humans are for the most part unaware of the harm their fast-lane lifestyles are causing. We aim to change that by doing all we can to promote ocean literacy.
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