This floating tube is trying to clean up the Pacific Ocean.
A nonprofit called The Ocean Cleanup wants to deploy a massive tube to try and collect some of the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic waste found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This patch is a huge collection of debris and trash in the central North Pacific Ocean. It’s characterized by extremely high concentrations of plastic and chemical matter that have been trapped by the North Pacific Gyre’s currents.
The tube, which was financed through crowdfunding, is the length of a football field and uses a nylon screen to catch the plastic waste. It’s flexible enough to bend with the waves and takes advantage of water currents to bring the trash near it. It will use a large anchor to keep it from drifting and will also be net-free, so it doesn’t trap any marine life swimming nearby.
The device is scheduled to be deployed in the summer of 2018. The Ocean Cleanup estimates the tube will collect more than 11,000 pounds of plastic per month. They believe that, in 5 years, the tube can collect half of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is about 40,000 metric tons.