A revolutionary floating dam is to be tested for the first time at sea off the coast of the Netherlands, announced a Dutch foundation dedicated to cleaning up the various plastic waste (bottles, bags, etc.) currently polluting our oceans. Unlike most other ocean waste collection programmes which use boats to scour the surf for plastic flotsam and jetsam, the foundation intends to use currents to passively ensnare waves of garbage.
By 2020, the project hopes to have installed two 50-kilometre-long arms of a V-shaped floating barrier, attached to the seabed. Each arm of the V would consist of a ‘screen’ three metres deep that blocks waste and directs it to a central point where it can be collected for recycling.
After earlier tests in controlled environments on Dutch lakes were carried out, the foundation announced that “the goal of the North Sea test is to monitor the effects of real-life sea conditions, with a focus on waves and currents.”
The test should be the basis for a further one, on a much larger scale, planned for the Japanese island of Tsushima (south), where two kilometres of water between Japan and South Korea will be equipped with the system.
This new device is composed of barriers – and not nets – allowing fish and other sea creatures through and therefore representing a safe method for marine fauna.