This missive is a follow-up on my last blog, which mentioned that there is a glob of plastic garbage as large as Texas floating around the Pacific. Ocean Cleanup, a Netherlands-based nonprofit, has invented a “floating vacuum cleaner” that is capturing large plastic items and tiny microplastics. It actually isn’t a vacuum cleaner; it is the Rube Goldberg device shown in the photo. At one end is a parachute intended to slow the unit so it doesn’t miss garbage. Although it is pretty kludgy-looking, its inventor says it works and, after refining it, they plan to launch an army of these things. They believe they can reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean by half every five years and cleanup 90% of the ocean waste by 2040.
Personally, I applaud anyone making an effort to clean up the ocean, since there are a lot of people who seem to want to clutter it. So if you are on the Pacific one day and see this thing floating toward you, make sure to place your plastic bottles in a safe spot or you might lose your deposit.