Last September the 'snake' that would cleanse the sea was announced. Here we tell you about the obstacles that it has faced
After observing the landfill in which the sea is becoming, the Dutch Boyant Slat launched an ambitious plan to clean the great Pacific garbage patch located between the coasts of California and Hawaii. His project is a 600-meter-long U-shaped mechanism, known as System 001 or Wilson, which returns garbage to the shore so that it can later be picked up by a ship.
The project was launched 4 weeks ago and has already faced several obstacles that have hindered its objective. According to the UN, the results so far have been ambivalent because the plastic that collects the system returns to the ocean and not to the mainland.
3 obstacles for 'the snake'
1. On the official website of System 001, Slat explains that they have identified that once the plastic is collected, it does not stay inside the system. However, the Dutchman warns that considering that the initiative is in the beta stage, this type of inconvenience was expected. The team is already working to correct these obstacles.
On the one hand, the team identified that the system sometimes moves very slowly, which could be causing the plastic not to remain inside the 'snake'. It has also been concluded that sometimes the speed at which the plastic moves in the water is greater than that of the system, so it is necessary to adjust the speed at which the float moves.
Additionally, wind currents and wind speeds should be taken into account, as they would also be interfering with the system causing the ends of the float to vibrate which slows down Wilson. The solution will be to open the U shape of Wilson approximately 70 meters, this would cover more marine surface and correct the faults that it is currently facing.
2. On the other hand, another obstacle that Wilson faces, which the experts had already warned when the experiment was announced, is that the system can affect and damage marine life. The surface of the oceans harbors different creatures that would not be fast enough to swim and escape from the mechanism, which means they get trapped inside the float.
However, the team that monitors and manages the project ensures that no interaction with marine life has been observed in these 4 weeks. We must wait for the modifications of the float to be implemented to see if the species that inhabit the area are affected.
3. The last obstacle that Wilson faces, according to UN Environment, is that this type of initiative would discourage the public to have a more friendly behavior. If consumers observe that the plastic can be removed from the sea and subsequently treated, this would cause users to think that it is not necessary to recycle, reuse, or buy products made with sustainable materials.
Slat and his team will keep the public informed so that their progress is known.
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from “¿Cuáles son los obstáculos para limpiar la gran isla de basura del pacífico?”