Thus far, cleanup of the ocean’s garbage patch has been deemed impossible due to the vast size and amount of the debris. The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program has estimated that it would take 67 ships one year to clean up less than one percent of the North Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, as the patch lies in the middle of the ocean far from the coastline of any particular country, no one is willing to provide funding and initiate clean up of the garbage.
However, a solution has presented itself, proposed by 19 year old Boyan Slat. His concept involves natural ocean currents and winds to transport plastic to collection platforms, where the debris will then be removed using solid floating barriers. This will prevent marine animals from being entangled in the more traditional and widespread use of nets and vessels. It has been postulated that almost half of the debris can be cleared in 10 years time.
Boyan Slat has also founded The Ocean Cleanup foundation, which has dedicated itself to cleaning the world’s oceans. Research by the organization is being conducted in order to bring about the plan’s execution, and research and studies will also be outsourced to other institutes and companies. In order to gain funds, The Ocean Cleanup is looking to collect 2 million dollars through crowdfunding campaigns. Increasing public awareness is hence one of the ways the problem of the garbage patch can be solved and should more advertising and campaigns be carried out, what was once a simple hope to clean the ocean will become a reality.
"Great Pacific Garbage Patch." National Geographic Education. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2014. <http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/?ar_a=1>.
"19-Year-old invents feasible solution to cleanup ocean garbage patches." The Ocean Cleanup. The Ocean Cleanup, 3 June 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. <http://www.theoceancleanup.com/press/show/item/19-year-old-invents-feasible-solution-to-cleanup-ocean-garbage-patches.html>.