Ocean Cleanup: Plastic-harvesting device ‘successful’

A device designed to remove vast quantities of plastic waste from the world’s oceans is working for the first time its inventor has said.

The device, operated by the non-profit Ocean Cleanup project has successfully harvested plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge area of floating waste twice the size of Texas halfway between California and Hawaii.

Known as System 001, the device uses a 600-metre boom to catch waste as it drifts on the current while allowing marine life to safely swim beneath it.

It was first launched for trials in September last year, but a series of technical problems have prevented it from successfully capturing plastic until now.

"Today we announce that our cleanup system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been catching plastic for the first time,” said Boyan Slat, the 25-year-old Dutch founder of Ocean Cleanup and the device’s inventor.

“It's the first time actually anyone harvests plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, from this giant abandoned fishing nets all the way down to the microplastic range. So we think that we can actually clean the oceans."