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Ocean Cleanup enters next stage of plastics recovery

The Netherlands – The Ocean Cleanup initiative pioneered by Boyan Slat will be placing a 100-metre-long barrier in the North Sea during the second quarter of this year to filter out marine plastics. ‘It will be the first time our barrier design will be put to the test in open waters,’ notes the Dutch entrepreneur.

The trial will take place 23 km off the coast of the Netherlands, with the main objective being to monitor the effects of real-life sea conditions using cameras and sensors. ‘The North Sea test will help our engineers to de-risk the Coastal Pilot, our first operational clean-up system planned to be deployed off the coast of Tsushima Island (between Korea and Japan),’ Slat explains.

The floating barriers are among the most critical elements of the passive technology concept because they are responsible for capturing and concentrating the plastic debris, he notes. Owing to their size and to the ‘extreme’ oceanic conditions to be encountered, the barriers have always been a leading focus for the engineering team.

‘After extensive computer modelling and scale model testing in controlled environments at the Deltares and MARIN basins, our engineers believe it is time to move the barrier to the next stage of development,’ the young entrepreneur states.

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