(London Guardian) A giant floating barrier launched off the coast of San Francisco as part of a $20m project to cleanup a swirling island of rubbish between California and Hawaii, is failing to collect plastic.
The mastermind behind the Ocean Cleanup, an ambitious plan to clear a swathe of the Pacific twice the size of Texas of floating debris, reported four weeks into testing that while the U-shaped device was scooping up plastic, it was then losing it.
Inventor Boyan Slat, 24, said that the slow speed of the solar-powered 600m-long barrier means it is unable to hold on to plastics, but a team of experts is now working on a possible fix.
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“What we’re trying to do has never been done before. So, of course we were expecting to still need to fix a few things before it becomes fully operational,” Slat explained.