The hope is that the vessel, the first of a planned fleet or 60 or more, can strain out the millions of pounds of plastic trash that collects in slow-moving ocean whirlpools called gyres, which can be hundreds of miles across.
…Currents and waves push trash into the machine’s center to collect it. Floating particles are captured by the net while the push of water against the net propels fish and other marine life under and beyond.
…The system is fitted with solar-powered lights and anti-collision systems to keep any stray ships from running into it, along with cameras, sensors and satellites that allow it to communicate with its creators.
…If all goes well, it will be towed out to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch nearly 1,400 miles off the West Coast, about halfway between California and Hawaii. A support vessel will fish out the collected plastic every few weeks, according to the Associated Press. The waste will then be transported to dry land for recycling.
Yes, we need to reduce the plastic we use but unless that mythical day, this seems like a logical step in the right direction.