A floating device created to clean up plastic from the ocean is finally doing its job, organizers say

A huge trash-collecting system designed to clean up plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean is finally picking up plastic, its inventor announced Wednesday. The Netherlands-based nonprofit the Ocean Cleanup says its latest prototype was able to capture and hold debris ranging in size from huge, abandoned fishing gear, known as “ghost nets,” to tiny microplastics as small as 1 millimeter. “Today, I am very proud to share with you that we are now catching plastics,” Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO Boyan Slat said at a news conference in Rotterdam.

The Ocean Cleanup system is a U-shaped barrier with a net-like skirt that hangs below the surface of the water. It moves with the current and collects faster moving plastics as they float by. Fish and other animals will be able to swim beneath it. The new prototype added a parachute anchor to slow the system and increased the size of a cork line on top of the skirt to keep the plastic from washing over it….


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