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The Ocean Cleanup Project: too good to be true?

160212 - Saya Askarova 80x cropped

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Saya Askarova

18 June 2016 – Almaty, Kazakhstan – A new resource has been added to the PM World Library related to major programmes & projects. The new resource is titled “The Ocean Cleanup Project”.

The Ocean Cleanup is developing world’s first feasible method to rid the oceans of plastic. The Ocean Cleanup’s goal is to extract, prevent and intercept plastic pollution by initiating the largest cleanup project in history.

Through a series of oceanic expeditions, The Ocean Cleanup is researching the mass and distribution of plastic debris in the oceans, and methods of recycling ocean plastic. In August 2015, The Ocean Cleanup conducted the Mega Expedition in which a fleet of approximately 30 vessels crossed the Great Pacific garbage patch using manta trawls and carrying out aerial surveys to measure the concentration, spatial distribution and size distribution of plastic.

160617 - Ocean Cleanup IMAGE1Researchers aboard mothership R/V Ocean Starr reported sighting much more large-sized ocean debris than expected. According to The Ocean Cleanup website, this expedition was conducted in preparation for a large-scale cleanup of the Great Pacific garbage patch, which it intends to start in 2020.

Despite considerable online enthusiasm for the project, oceanographers and biologists are voicing less-publicized concerns. They question whether the design will work as described and survive the natural forces of the open ocean, how it will affect sea life, and whether this is actually the best way to tackle the problem of ocean plastic – or merely a distraction from the bigger problem of pollution prevention. Many have also expressed concern about the lack of an environmental impact statement prior to such a large push for funding.

To access this new resource,, click on “Environmental”, then scroll down to find this resource. Must be logged-in professional member to access.