Final testing of the Ocean Cleanup is set to take place in the North Sea. You may have heard or watched the Ted talks in which Boyan Slat as a 17 year old talks ambitiously about how he is going to get rid of the plastic in the oceans. Well not only was it a great idea but with the idea now 4 years down the line, he is close to making it a reality. If the project really is feasible and it really could clean up the floating plastics, starting with those in the great pacific garbage patch, it would be huge.
However it can never be that simple, and such a project needs rigorous testing before any real implementation can take place. In order to really test out the feasibility, they need to put it through its paces by sending currents, waves and winds from each and every direction.
Fortunately MARIN offshore basin provided the perfect testing grounds. This is because MARIN has the ability to send multiple waves and currents from various directions at the same time at different speeds. It seems that the floating barriers passed the test (the part of the project that posed the most risk as to whether it could handle the seas). The engineers seemed happy with the tests and Ocean Clean Up released the statement, “After extensive computer modelling and scale model testing in controlled environments at the Deltares and MARIN basins, our engineers believe it is time to move the barrier to the next stage of development.”
The next step is testing out how the project works in the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands. This will allow the team to set up their first operational cleanup system which will be setup off the Tsushima Island of Japan.