A project to clean the oceans of plastic soup, launched by a former Delft University student, will begin an experiment with a 100 metre long barrier off the Dutch coast in the second quarter of 2016.
Boyan Slat said in 2014 he had raised $2m via an internet crowdfunding project to fund his ambitious plan to scoop plastic out of the Pacific Ocean. The ‘ocean cleanup’ concept is designed to capture the floating plastic but allow fish and plankton to pass through unharmed.
The spring experiment marks the first time the barrier design has been tested in open waters. The main objective of the North Sea test, 23 kilometres off the coast near The Hague, is to monitor the effects of real-life sea conditions, with a focus on waves and currents.
The floating barriers are one of the most critical elements of the concept, since they are responsible for capturing and concentrating the plastic debris. The real life trials follow extensive computer modelling and scale model testing in controlled environments.
A second test, off the coast of Tsushima Island in Japan, will take place in the second half of 2016.
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