Check out these satisfying videos of the ocean getting a much-needed cleanup

Check out these satisfying videos of the ocean getting a much-needed cleanup

Check out these satisfying videos of the ocean getting a much-needed cleanup

We have made a mess of the Earth’s oceans.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP)—which is exactly what it sounds like—is estimated to cover an area of ​​more than 1.6 million square kilometers (620,000 square miles). It contains thousands of tons of plastic waste and more plastic is flowing into the oceans around the world of rivers every day. Worse, the amount of plastic being thrown into the ocean just seems growing

Fortunately, the folks at The Ocean Cleanup have tried to mitigate some of the damage we’ve done to the planet (you know, besides global warming). It’s in the name: the organization is committed to removing waste from the ocean and intercepting it before it gets there.

That process can also be quite satisfying to watch. If you are the type of person who enjoys videos from dirty cars are washed electrically and phones get years of gunk removedthen watching literal tons of debris being removed from the ocean can tickle the same part of your brain — and warm your heart, too.

13,875 kg of waste is removed from the ocean

Let’s start with the main attraction. The video below shows The Ocean Cleanup’s current flagship, the System 002, collecting 13,875 kg (30,589 lb) of plastic across three deployments to the GPGP. Not a big deal or anything.

Since February, The Ocean Cleanup has removed a whopping 55,020 kg (121,298 kg) of debris from the GPGP. That’s nothing to scoff at, but it’s still only 1/1500th of the waste estimated to be in the GPGP, let alone around the world.

Watch this explainer video to see how it all works:

Preventing literally tons of garbage from reaching the ocean

You can’t keep the oceans clean by just removing the garbage that’s already there; you also need to prevent new waste from getting into the pile. To that end, The Ocean Cleanup has deployed ‘Interceptor’ machines stationed where rivers meet the ocean to collect waste before it’s too late.

The Interceptor 003 on Vietnam’s Can Tho River has prevented more than 61,109 kg of waste from reaching the ocean since it began testing in December 2021.

Why is the ocean full of eel traps?

Fishing nets are common culprits in oceanic pollution, but did you know? eel traps are also a thing?

They are actually one of the most common items in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – as the video below points out.

Other weird finds

It turns out that all kinds of weird consumer products end up in the ocean. As shown in the video below, there are some choice finds:

  • golf balls
  • toothbrushes
  • traffic cones
  • VHS tapes
  • toilet seats
  • artificial grass
  • Whole refrigerators

And much more. If there’s plastic in it, there’s a good chance it will end up in the ocean someday.

Recycling plastic into sunglasses

Of course, all that plastic that is removed from the ocean has to go somewhere.

To help fund its efforts, The Ocean Cleanup created a pair of sunglasses as a proof-of-concept for how ocean plastic can be used sustainably and well. In addition, the goggles are produced in such a way that buyers can track the plastic through various stages of production, all the way back to the GPGP.

It’s only one product so far, but The Ocean Cleanup says more recycled plastic products are on the way. We have also seen manufacturers such as Dell and Microsoft also use recycled ocean plastic on some of their products.

It is clear that there is still a lot of work to be done. But with new cleanup and interceptor vessels on the way, and with support from partners and governments around the world, The Ocean Cleanup expects it to be able to remove 90% of ocean plastic by 2040.

Did you know that Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, will speak at the TNW Conference on June 16? View the full list of speakers here