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The rubbish collection system “Jenny” is towed by two ships in its test phase, © 2021 The Ocean Cleanup

Huge mountains of rubbish exist not only on land, but also at sea. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, an accumulation of rubbish on the Pacific Ocean almost twice the size of the American state of Texas, is the largest known plastic garbage patch of its kind. The oldest pieces of plastic in the patch, which is said to increase tenfold in ten years, are said to be over 50 years old. The rubbish mass is currently floating between Hawaii and California and covers an area of 1.6 million square kilometres. The rubbish is attracted by ocean eddies. One such eddy is in the Indian Ocean, two in the Atlantic and two in the Pacific, the organisation says. According to a 2018 study, golem.de reports, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains a total of around 79,000 tonnes of plastic waste.

To protect the oceans sustainably, The Ocean Cleanup has successfully tested a new system. Plastic bags, toothbrushes, VHS tapes, golf balls, shoes, fishing equipment and even a refrigerator – a total of almost 30,000 kg of rubbish – were fished out of the Pacific Ocean by the organisation in 12 weeks with a giant rubbish catcher system called Jenny. During the last tour alone, nearly 9,000 kg of rubbish landed in the approximately 800-metre-long rubbish catcher system, a funnel-shaped net, they said. The latest U-shaped net system “Jenny” is the most successful model so far of the organisation founded in 2013. The collected rubbish was shipped to British Columbia, Canada, where most of it will be recycled. By 2040, The Ocean Cleanup aims to eliminate up to 90% of the plastic waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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