The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch foundation developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, today presented the initial findings of its Aerial Expedition - a series of low-speed, low-altitude flights across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the plastic accumulation zone between Hawaii and California. Using a modified C-130 Hercules aircraft, expert spotters, and an experimental array of plastic scanning equipment, the expedition aims to accurately measure the biggest and most harmful debris in the ocean. This is an essential milestone in preparation for the cleanup of the patch, scheduled to begin before the end of the decade.
This first-ever aerial survey of floating ocean plastic provided confirmation of the abundance of plastic debris sized 0.5 m/1.5’ and up. While the flight plan took us along the Northern boundary ofthe patch, more debris was recorded than what is expected to be found in the heart of theaccumulation zone. Initial estimates of the experienced observer crew indicate that in a span of 2.5hours, over a thousand items were counted. read more >>