Is the Ocean Cleanup Array Viable?
Full-length article and recording
Managing Plastic Waste and Mitigating the Garbage Patches
Thanks to the Earth Engineering Center for making this knowledge sharing possible
Katrina Mitchell (Co-founder, be Waste Wise)
What can you tell us about Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Array? Is it a viable solution?
Dr. Bill Francis (Algalita): I know little about it, not a lot but I know that they are promoting their concept of skimming the ocean using large vessels and basically nets. They are trying to put the design together that reduces the amount of energy required to get those distributed and reduce the amount of manpower necessary. So they are trying to look at it from an effectiveness standpoint.
I also had some direct communication with Boyan Slat and they also see it as a very difficult accomplishment. But one of the things that I’ve encouraged them to do is to find some technology that looks like it has a chance of working and to see if there is some way that we can utilize it as the source of plastic pollution, perhaps at a river mouth or even upstream where there is a potential concentrated pollution source. So we want to encourage these types of innovative technologies. But we need to try to move upstream as much as we can protect our watersheds and the rest of our environment and not just try to recover it from the open ocean.
We at be Waste Wise respect the following disclaimer put on boyanslat.com about Ocean Cleanup Array (as of February 2, 2014) and request readers to understand this article in that context:
Disclaimer about the Ocean Cleanup Array by boyanslat.com: Although the preliminary results (for an Ocean Cleanup Array) look promising, and our team of about 50 engineers, modellers, external experts and students is making good progress, we had and have no intention of presenting a concept as a feasible solution while still being in investigative phase.
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