Kate O’Neill, World Politics Review
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.