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A patent for The Ocean Cleanup

Ellen Hoogland - The Ocean Cleanup

At The Ocean Cleanup, we are developing new technologies that will enable us to remove plastic from the oceans. Our aim is to bring a bout the largest clean-up campaign that history has ever seen, by providing a means with which the plastic waste can be removed from our oceans in a large-scale, efficient and environmentally-friendly manner. A brilliant challenge!

Column by Ellen Hoogland, General Counsel for The Ocean Cleanup

On 11 May, during the NeXt phase event in Utrecht, we announced our plans and our new, improved technology. In contrast to the old system, the barrier is no longer connected to the ocean floor, which at the locations involved, could be over four kilometres deep. Instead, a sea anchor will be drifting inside a slower-flowing layer of the sea a few hundred metres below the surface, as a result of which the barrier will be drifting just a little bit slower than the plastic itself. Instead of a single, extremely long barrier, we now intended to deploy a fleet of several, shorter barriers in the ocean. This will provide a more effective means of collecting the plastic from the ocean. Further information about this can be found on our website. By adopting this approach, we believe that within a period of only five years, half of the plastic pollution from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, – the collection area located between Hawaii and California – can be removed.

Applying for a patent for this innovation was a logical step. By doing this, we are ensuring that our innovative ideas will continue to be available to us in our mission to clean up the oceans. The Ocean Cleanup is firmly in favour of an “open source” approach and a patent will help us to successfully keep control of our innovations. We are therefore very pleased that V.O. wishes to sponsor us and have made them an official supplier to our non-profit organisation.

The Ocean Cleanup’ and credit artist impressions ‘By Erwin Zwart/The Ocean Cleanup’

Follow the developments regarding The Ocean Cleanup at www.theoceancleanup.com.

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