The world’s first Ocean Cleanup System has been launched!

The world’s first Ocean Cleanup System has been launched!

October 1st, 2018 By Ellie Skull

What is the Ocean Cleanup System?

On Saturday the 8th of September, The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit organisation, launched its first – and, indeed, the world’s first – ocean cleanup system.  System 001 is a large U-shaped series of connected pipes, designed to capture plastic floating in the water. It relies on both the wind and the waves to propel it forward and, as such, has no need for an external power source.

The size and buoyant nature of the pipes ensures that little to no plastic can escape by flowing over it, and the system is fitted with a 3-meter-deep skirt to ensure that plastic doesn’t escape underneath it either.

Designed with marine life in mind: 

  1. While the system moves faster than the plastic it’s designed to catch, it’s still slow enough to allow creatures to avoid it.
  2. Because plastic floats, there is little risk of any of it being carried under the skirt, whereas creatures can freely escape it, with help from underwater currents.
  3. When the time comes to collect the plastic, it is removed periodically to allow the team to check it for marine life.

It has taken over 250 scale model tests, six at-sea prototypes, and 5 years of research to reach this point, and Boyan Slat – Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup – is confident that, should the technology prove itself, a cleanup can happen.

What is the overall objective?

The Ocean Cleanup aims to clean 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a swirling vortex of trash accumulating in the North Pacific ocean gyre – in just five years. To do so, the organisation estimates that it would need a fleet of approximately 60 systems.

Should that prove successful, the organisation believes it can remove 90% of ocean plastic by 2040, by deploying systems in every ocean.

Looking to the future

Attending System 001’s initial launch, Slat stated: “Today’s launch is an important milestone, but the real celebration will come once the first plastic returns to shore. For 60 years, mankind has been putting plastic into the oceans; from that day onwards, we’re taking it back out again”. The last phrase a stark reminder of past negligence with regards to our planet’s resources.


Of course, grand million-dollar projects aren’t our only means of preserving the environment. Prevention is always going to be better than cure and, as such, organisations need to be responsible when it comes to the resources they use.

ISO 14001 – Environmental Management is a quality management system designed to help organisations better manage their resources. By implementing an environmental management system in your organisation, you will greatly improve efficiency, whilst reducing both wastage and costs.



Contact Us

For a free Quotation or Remote presentation by an ISO Specialist, contact us today!

IMSM Ltd Head Office
The Gig House
Oxford Street
SN16 9AX

Tel: +44 1793 296704
ISO Consultants