Ocean Cleanup device successfully collects plastic for the first time

Dutch scientists have tested a system that will remove half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years at a fraction of the current costs.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an island of rubbish three times the size of France floating between Hawaii and California.

The system in action. Credit: Ocean Cleanup

The new Ocean Cleanup system consists of a long floater sitting on the water's surface with a skirt preventing debris from escaping.

Boyan Slat, the creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, posted on Twitter to announce the first successful use of the system:

“Our ocean cleanup system is now finally catching plastic, from one-ton ghost nets to tiny microplastics! Also, anyone missing a wheel?”

The system can catch anything from tiny plastic particles just millimetres in size to large debris, such as discarded fishing nets.

Workers go through the collected debris. Credit: Ocean Cleanup