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Floating Pipe ‘Wilson’ To Start Collecting Plastics In The Pacific Ocean

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A floating pipe called “Wilson” is slated to begin its mission to clean the Pacific Ocean from plastics. Last month, Ocean Cleanup Foundation launched the 2,000 foot-long floating pipe from San Francisco.

The apparatus will help get rid of plastics and other debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located between San Francisco and Hawaii. The U-shaped pipe is reportedly more than twice the size of Texas.

“Wilson” has a net underneath it, which is three meters deep. It is designed to catch plastics that are floating under the water’s surface. Thanks to an array of sensors on board the boom, a message will be sent to a central office when it has reached full capacity.

A boat will come by every couple months to haul the collection away. The plastics collected will be brought to shore and recycled into new products.

At present, the oceans of the world harbor around 150 million tonnes of plastic, with that number only set to grow in the next decade.

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Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO 24-year-old Boyan Slat said:

“That plastic is still going to be there in one year. It’s still going to be there in ten years … It’s probably still going to be there in 100 years, so really only if we go out there and clean it up this amount of plastic is going to go down.”

The Dutch environmental start-up conducted a final series of trials earlier this month to be sure if the apparatus will be properly deployed in the Pacific Ocean.

The company said in a statement:

“The coming months will give System 001 plenty of opportunities to prove itself, and we are hopeful that it will continue to pass the tests.”

This new type of garbage disposal could have real impacts on climate change as well as the fishing industries and tourism, which are prominent in both San Francisco and Hawaii.

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