Think about all the times that you have been to the beach and seen some old trash from who knows when wash up on the shore. Doesn’t that drive you crazy? Well, you are not alone in that thought, due to an announcement that was recently made at Asia’s largest technology conference, the Seoul Digital Forum.
Tsushima, and island between Japan and South Korea (as I’m sure you already knew), is going to become home to the world’s first system to passively clean up plastic pollution from the ocean. The garbage collector, which will become the longest floating structure ever to be deployed in the ocean at 2,000 meters (about 1.25 miles).
The project was announced by the CEO and founder of The Ocean Cleanup (a fairly self-explanatory name), Boyan Slat, who, by the way, is 20 years old. The goal of the project is to not only remove the plastic pollution that has been washing up at an astounding rate off the coast of the Tsushima island, approximately three cubic feet of pollution per person (the population of the island is around 40,000), but to see whether the plastic that is collected can be used as an alternative energy source.
The Ocean Cleanup hopes that the project will be a success, and plans to deploy another system within the next five years to try and clean up at least half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (yes, that exists, and yes, that is its name) that is currently floating between Hawaii and California.
Now we just need to get them to make one for the Atlantic Ocean.