The Ocean Cleanup latest project

person Posted By: Up To Do Good

The Ocean Cleanup develops technologies to rid the oceans of plastic.

Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the oceans, of which the majority spills out from rivers. A portion of this plastic travels to ocean garbage patches, getting caught in a vortex of circulating currents. If no action is taken, plastic will increasingly impact our ecosystems, health, and economies.

The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization developing and scaling technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. To achieve this objective, we have to work on a combination of closing the source and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean and doesn’t go away by itself. This goal means they plan to put themselves out of business – once they have completed this project, their work is done.

The Rio Motagua – A river in Guatemala

For the last three years, Ocean Cleanup has been working on developing an Interceptor project in one of the heaviest polluted rivers on the planet. The Rio Motagua basin in Guatemala suffers yearly trash tsunamis that are devastating to the environment.

Over the years, The Ocean Cleanup research team has studied dozens of the heaviest-emitting rivers around the world, yet we have never come across the levels of plastic pollution we see in the Rio Motagua basin. Pollution from the Rio Motagua has even been observed from space using satellites. This evidence contributes to our growing belief that the Rio Motagua is the number one heaviest-emitting river in the world.

It is estimated that approximately 20,000 tonnes of plastic currently flows through the Rio Motagua into the Caribbean Sea on an annual basis. Based on this number, this one river alone is responsible for an estimated 2% of global plastic emissions into the oceans.

This specific problem required a specific solution, so the Ocean Cleanup is now working with a new kind of Interceptor system: the Interceptor Trashfence. The Guatemala project is still in an experimental stage, and not yet operational. However the team of The Ocean Cleanup making progress every day to bring the system to full operability.

The Ocean Cleanup is working hard to get the Trashfence operational as soon as possible. Please stay tuned to follow the developments. Let’s keep working, let do good!

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