On Friday the Ocean Cleanup project posted a status update after their giant U-shaped plastic trap lost a 60-foot section in January and had to be towed back to land: During the first four months that the system was offshore, we were able to confirm many of the key features of the cleanup system. We also encountered some unscheduled learning opportunities; notably 1) the system hasn't been able to retain the plastic it caught, and 2) the floater suffered from a structural failure, causing an 18-meter end section to disconnect from the rest of the system, just before the end of 2018. Its four months in the Pacific ocean validated much of their proposed solution, including the device's U-shaped configuration and its ability to orient with the wind. No harmful environmental impacts were observed, and in fact "Plastic concentrations in and around the system were much higher than in any other location in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; and, although the periods the plastic was retained in the system were not yet of sufficient length, the system did capture and concentrate plastic." The bottom line: they're going to try again: The engineering team is using these conclusions and results to update the design and prepare for relaunch. Using this thorough understanding, we hope to resolve the issues that are known to us and prove our technology, but we do realize that there may still be more unidentified challenges ahead. Only further proving the importance of returning to the patch as soon as possible, so we can continue to learn from and optimize the technology.... We now have all hands on deck and we aim to be ready for relaunch within a matter of months.

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Original-URL: https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/03/30/0025218/ocean-cleanup-foundation-plans-relaunch-of-giant-plastic-catching-trap?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed