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The Ocean Cleanup breaks 10,000,000 kg barrier

by The Ocean Cleanup 22 Apr 18:44 UTC
The Ocean Cleanup removed a total of ten million kilograms (22 million lbs.) of trash from oceans © The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup, the global non-profit project, has removed a verified all-time total of ten million kilograms (22 million lbs.) of trash from oceans and rivers around the world - approximately the same weight as the Eiffel Tower.

To complete its mission of ridding the oceans of plastic, The Ocean Cleanup uses a dual strategy: cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) to remove the plastic already afloat in the oceans, while stopping the flow of plastic from the world's most polluting rivers.

Through cleaning operations in the GPGP and in rivers in eight countries, the cumulative total of trash removed has now surpassed ten million kilograms. This milestone demonstrates the acceleration of The Ocean Cleanup's impact, while underlining the astonishing scale of the plastic pollution problem and the need for continued support and action.

While encouraging for the mission, this milestone is only a staging point: millions more tons of plastic still pollute our oceans and The Ocean Cleanup intends to continue learning, improving and innovating to solve this global catastrophe.

Today's announcement, on Earth Day 2024, comes as governments from around the world meet to continue negotiations to develop a new legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution at INC4 in Ottawa, Canada. Representatives of The Ocean Cleanup will be in attendance and the organization will be urging decision-makers to collaborate towards a comprehensive and ambitious global treaty which addresses plastic at all stages of its life cycle and in all marine environments worldwide, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

It is encouraging to see that the need for remediation is reflected in the various options for potential treaty provisions. It is essential that the final treaty contains clear targets for the remediation of legacy plastic pollution, and reduction of riverine plastic emissions.

Tackling plastic pollution requires innovative and impactful solutions. The treaty should therefore incentivize the innovation ecosystem by fostering innovations that make maximal use of data, technology and scientific knowledge - such as those designed and deployed by The Ocean Cleanup.

'After many tough years of trial and error, it's amazing to see our work is starting to pay off - and I am proud of the team who has brought us to this point.' said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. 'While we still have a long way to go, our recent successes fill us with renewed confidence that the oceans can be cleaned.'

The Ocean Cleanup was founded in 2013 and captured its first plastic in 2019, with the first confirmed catch in the GPGP coming soon after the deployment of Interceptor 001 in Jakarta, Indonesia. After surpassing one million kilograms of trash removed in early 2022, the non-profit project has since progressed to the third iteration of its GPGP cleaning solution, known as System 03, and a network of Interceptors currently covering rivers in eight countries, with more deployments set for 2024.

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