A 2,000-foot-long system created to clean up plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean is broken and being towed back to port for repair.
The Ocean Cleanup System 001, a U-shaped floating barrier created by the organization The Ocean Cleanup, arrived in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in October.
Ocean garbage patches are formed by rotating ocean currents called “gyres” that pull marine debris (litter, fishing gear, and plastic) into one location, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The are several of these patches in the ocean, including two in the Pacific. The one known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located between Hawaii and California, and it’s about double the size of Texas, or three times the size of California.
After several months at sea, it was determined the system failed to retain plastic, the organization announced earlier in December.
Now, a 60-foot section of the device has broken free from the system, the organization announced December 29. The entire floating system, along with over 4,400 pounds of plastic it has recovered, is being brought back to shore.
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