Ocean Cleanup's "Interceptor 007" caught 35,000 lbs of trash in its trial run

Originally published at: Ocean Cleanup's "Interceptor 007" caught 35,000 lbs of trash in its trial run | Boing Boing


These type of things really concern me. Notice that most of the “trash” caught is organic debris, like palm fronds. These are supposed to flow into oceans from rivers. Making the output “clean” is really mucking with the ecosystem. Once trash is in an ecosystem, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle without collateral damage. You need to stop this at the source. Make companies accountable for the plastic trash they create.


Well, similar observation about the volume of organic stuff there. I wondered how they were going to process the skips of mixed materials and separate the plastic from the organic.

(They could slow-compost it all and then sieve it when the organics have broken down, which would remove the larger plastics, but not the smaller pieces. But I bet that is not a solution under consideration - because it is almost certainly not practical.)


Awesome! I’ve seen it in action and I’ve noticed how much less trash was on the beach after the most recent storms. It’s a great improvement!

For those worried about the Pacific Ocean losing out on good organic matter, you can rest assured it gets all it can eat from its 84000 miles of coastline.


I don’t know when I’ll be able to take The Ocean Cleanup and Boyan Slat seriously, but this hasn’t moved the needle.


Came to the comments to grouse about the amount of organic material, was not disappoint.
If you really want to make it work better, make it longer and set up volunteers along the conveyor belt to yeet organics over the side (already past the boom). Not a huge issue to be sure, as someone already pointed out that most of the coastline would still dump organics into the mix. But for polluted waterways…

Better to stop it at the source: clean up your dang mess people! I am semi-retired (f!ck u COVID and 2XFU TFG) so as I walk my wife to work most mornings I carry a grabber to clean up recyclables etc. Got to the point where I had to make a three bag rig on a sturdy hiking staff held horizontally: biggest for recyclables, next largest for trash, smallest for dog poops bags. I regularly collect 20-30 lbs of material on every walk (I empty it along the way into apartment building recycle bins etc). A good workout too! Walk three miles holding a few kilos away from your person and you will sweat. Almost every person I come across smiles and thanks me. I do the same thing in my kayak. You would not believe the weird things I’ve pulled out of the SF bay! People in the houseboats don’t like dumbass rental boaters stumbling around their homes, but start picking up sh!t from the water and nice folks come out of the woodwork.

What is a pirate’s favorite letter?
Some may say the RRRRR
Whilst others are sure it be the IIIIII
But tis always the C


This is a graphic example of the economic term externality. Someone else is paying for cleaning up the mess.


Yes, and furthermore, the real problem is not visible trash. It’s micro-plastics that can’t be caught in nets. They’re microscopic and contaminating the entire ecosystem, to the point that they are now in our bloodstreams.

This system makes feel-good aerial photos, but aren’t solving the problem. This is the ocean cleanup version of the impractical carbon capture machines that keep making the news because people think they’ll be a Get Out Of Climate Change Free card.

and make people accountable for the plastic trash they buy and discard.

True, but the microplastic has to come somewhere, and the decay of macroscopic plastic trash is a big source of that. This doesn’t solve every single problem, but it really is a good thing.

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