Beautiful beaches will always be a favorite travel destination for many people. There’s nothing like escaping your daily life to go relax by the sea. However, travel is a significant contributor to the pollution of the ocean. Many people use the vast ocean as a dumping ground for plastic and other trash. In fact, about 8 million metric tons of plastic flow into the ocean from beaches every year.
To compensate for this pollution, scientists and other innovators have developed some incredible ocean cleanup technology and initiatives. In this article, I will discuss some of these incredible projects and how they are helping to clean our seas.
The Ocean Cleanup Project
A team of Dutch scientists have created a revolutionary flotation device that collects trash from the sea- everything from discarded fishing nets to microplastics. The floating device is a part of The Ocean Cleanup Project, a nonprofit organization, and has been working towards a clean ocean since 2013.
The floatation device employs a large screen that descends three meters into the ocean and is about 62 miles long. It collects plastics and other trash without causing any harm to the marine ecosystems below.
The device was invented to help clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a giant cluster of debris in the North Pacific Ocean that is approximately three times the size of France. It collects there due to ocean currents and was previously impossible to clean. Scientists believe this device could eventually help clean up over half of the trash that has been collecting in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over the years.
Suzuki’s Clean Ocean Project
Suzuki, a global motor brand, started their Cleanup the World Campaign in 2010, which is a part of their Clean Ocean Project. One of their main initiatives was the creation of a Micro-Plastic Collecting Device. The devices are attached to boat motors and use ocean water to the engines as they run. When the device pumps seawater through the engine pipes, it also filters the water and collects microplastics. The technology combines the valuable function of cooling the engine with the additional benefit of working towards a clean ocean. Simply running the boat will collect microplastics in the water.
Suzuki continues to work on their ocean cleanup device. Although it is not yet on the market, they hope to introduce it at some point in 2022. The company hopes that it will become a standard addition to boats in the future and that all individuals and organizations will be able to buy it. This way, there will be thousands of micro-plastic devices worldwide, constantly collecting microplastics from the ocean.
Clear Blue Sea
A team of people at Clear Blue Sea, a nonprofit dedicate to cleaning the ocean, have introduced FRED into the ocean (Floating Robot For Eliminating Debris). FRED is innovatively designed to operate on solar power as its floats across the ocean and collects marine debris. When full, FRED returns to land so that the plastic it collected can be emptied and recycled.
FRED is completely safe for marine wildlife. In fact, it uses an acoustic pinger sound to warn any nearby sea life that it is close. This ensures that all marine life will stay clear of it.
Clear Blue Sea is continuing to work on their project and hopes to have a fleet of 100 semi-autonomously operated FREDs in the ocean by 2024.
Keep Our Oceans Clean!
Even with all the innovative technology invented to help contribute to the ocean cleanup mission, we still must remember to do our part. Clean up after yourself, and don’t leave any trash on the beach. The oceans are a vital part of the earth’s natural ecosystem, and we must keep them clean!
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