CBS SFOcean Cleanup Clears Open-Sea Trial, Heads to Great Pacific Garbage Patch, October 6, 2018 Bay Area:

[Includes video]


ALAMEDA (CBS SF) — An ambitious effort to corral and remove plastic from the ocean cleared an open-ocean trial this week and is now headed to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that assembled its floating plastic-capture system at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, successfully completed two weeks of testing about 350 nautical miles off the coast. On Tuesday, the team was given the go-ahead to head another 1,000 miles to a location halfway between Hawaii and California.

That’s where the world’s largest accumulation of discarded junk lurks – fishing nets, plastic bottles, pieces of plastic containers and bottle caps — drifting across an area estimated to be twice the size of Texas.

When the cleanup crew arrives in about two weeks, the goal is to collect and remove larger pieces of plastic before they are broken down into microplastics.

The nonprofit’s “System001” uses a tapered screen drifting about 10 feet underwater that’s attached to floaters in a “Pac-Man” shape, to gather debris while allowing marine life to swim underneath the operation.

“We have a GO to head to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” the nonprofit’s Twitter account said Tuesday.