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Trash collectors pick up plastic bottles in New Delhi, India. Trash collectors pick up plastic bottles in New Delhi, India, Sept. 26, 2019 (AP photo by Altaf Qadri).

Can the World Win the War on Plastic?

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

In September 2018, after years of modeling and development, the Ocean Cleanup project launched System 001, a floating barrier designed to scoop up plastic debris from an area in the Pacific Ocean that, because of prevailing currents, had become a natural repository of ocean-borne plastic waste. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as the area the size of France became known, was first discovered in 1988, but it gained prominence after a public awareness campaign in 2008.

Although System 001 ultimately failed to hold onto the plastic debris it collected, Ocean Cleanup announced late last year that a modified prototype known as System 001/B, launched in June 2019, was successfully retaining the debris it captures. Whether or not it has a decisive impact on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch remains to be seen. ...

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