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What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

Wading through The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Cleaning the ocean, one wave at a time!

We are going to look at a few tech solutions that are revolutionising waters around the world. There are several tons of trash in the world’s oceans. Non-biodegradable products, oil, even radioactive industrial waste, you name anything and it’s probably in the ocean already. 

Problems the Oceans Face

  • Dumping non-biodegradables, industrial & sewage wastes and oil spills are only a few of the many problems that burden our oceans. 
  • Pollution in our deep waters has a knock off effect on us; if marine creatures are living in waters wading with waste then we are eating the same waste too! 
  • Radioactive material and toxic chemicals such as mercury are often dumped as part of industrial waste. 
  • In turn, the fish consume these chemicals and they are stored in the fat tissues of fish. So we could be facing harmful consequences if we don’t clean up our act! 
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Tech Driven Solutions

Amazingly, none of the inventors of these following technologies have any background in environmental or marine sciences. 

The Ocean Cleanup

What is it?: 

  • The Ocean Cleanup is a project that aims to eradicate 50% of the trash that belongs to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years.

How does it work?: 

  • A long floating rubber barrier acts like a coastline to trap rubbish.
  • It uses nets attached underneath the floats and the oceans currents to capture rubbish.

Seabin

What is it?: 

  • It’s a vacuum powered bin for the sea.

How does it work?:

  • Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski concocted a pump mechanism that sucks rubbish into a bin container which can be retrieved later.
  • The mechanism also filters out oil and detergents through the fibre bag.
  • The mechanism is powered by a 12 volt pump but alternative energy can be used to power the pump such as solar, wave and wind.

Mr Trash Wheel

What is it?: 

  • It’s a mechanism that collects rubbish in harbours and rivers.

How does it work?

  • John Kellett, inventor of Mr Trash Wheel, combines old and new tech to power this mechanism.
  • The 14 foot steel water wheel uses hydro energy from currents to power the conveyor belt. The conveyor belt has a rake which gathers rubbish lying in the harbour.
  • When the current is calm, energy from the 30 solar panels attached to the mechanism power the water wheel.
  • In storms, both methods work together to collect as much rubbish as possible.
  • Dumping rubbish and debris into our precious blue waters has resulted in the formation of what are known as “garbage patches”. Unfortunately, they exist in every ocean we have. 
  • The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” holds several tons of rubbish and is twice the size of Texas state. 
  • China is the largest producer of marine debris. 
  • Up to 3.5 million of our mismanaged waste ends up in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and on Japanese coastal waters.

Pause before you pollute:

3 things you can do to help:

  • Adopt a green attitude; reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Pick up garbage and trash near beaches.
  • Use reusable plastic bottles (Bobble).    

And... That's it!

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