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Ocean Cleanup intends to use new System 003

According to reports from "The Ocean Cleanup", participants in the project carried out by the Dutch initiative that was launched ten years ago are now preparing to introduce a new system for cleaning the oceans of plastic waste. It will reportedly be three times larger than the "System 002" used so far. The floating barrier, which will then be nearly two and a half kilometres long, is designed to remove waste from the water more efficiently – above all in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The newest System 003 is scheduled to be operational in early July, says Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of Ocean Cleanup. To remove litter from the ocean, the system will use a 2,400 metre-wide net-like barrier for catching the garbage. Like its smaller predecessor, the barrier will be towed by two ships through the garbage patch or to garbage hot spots. A third ship then picks up the pieces of garbage, which collect in a retention zone in the middle of the barrier. The 003 system is expected to be able to hold ten times more material than the smaller-sized 002 model. By scaling up the system and improving performance and cost efficiency, version 003 is also expected to serve as a blueprint for scaling up and building an entire fleet of sea-cleaning systems. The first barrier deployed by Ocean Cleanup in 2018 to fish out marine debris consisted of a total of about 600 metres of U-shaped plastic pipe with a draft of about three meters, which, for one, did not provide the desired collection performance and, moreover, broke during deployment in the ocean. System 002 has been used by Ocean Cleanup since 2021. According to Ocean Cleanup, almost 200,000 kilos of waste have since been retrieved from the ocean. Now, however, Ocean Cleanup also wants to start at the point where plastic litter enters the ocean: the rivers. To this end, the company says it already has several systems under development or in use, such as the solar-powered Interceptor Original, a floating catamaran with an opening into which garbage flows, or the Interceptor Barrier. The latter is a solution which, like the ocean cleaning facilities, consists of a floating barrier. This can be anchored in a U-shape around the mouth of smaller rivers, where it intercepts and collects litter until it is removed from the water. In this way, Ocean Cleanup aims to work with government officials, individuals and private companies to help reduce plastic pollution in the world's most affected rivers.

  • (Feb. 15, 2023)
  • (March 9, 2023)
  • Photo: © The Ocean Cleanup

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