An organization called “The Ocean Cleanup” has developed a feasible method to clean up the world’s 5 gyres, or garbage patches. The Ocean Cleanup Array is an estimated 7900 times faster, and 33 times cheaper than conventional methods. These garbage patches will not disappear by themselves; once the plastic trash has traveled away from a landmass, there is no natural force available to beach the plastic.
Proposed is a very long array of floating barriers attached to the seabed. This would act as an artificial coastline, allowing the ocean to clean itself. In mid-2016, the organization plans to deploy a 100-meter barrier segment off the coast of the Netherlands, putting the design to the test in open waters for the first time.
Simply put, the floating barriers will utilize the tides, currents, and wind movement to push the plastic trash into the barriers for later capture and removal. The hopes are that this passive technology will be able to clean the trash from the 5 rotating ocean currents, cleaning up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within 10 years. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California, harbors about 1/3 of all oceanic plastic waste.
To read more about this astonishing new technology, please visit The Ocean Cleanup.