Floating Pipe Nicknamed “Wilson” Tasked with Removing Plastics from Ocean

Wilson is on a mission to skim the Great Pacific Garbage Patch from the sea.

Ocean Plastic
Ocean Cleanup's garbage removal system, nicknamed Wilson, was deployed last month. (Josh Edelson AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

A 2,000-foot-long pipe launched into the Pacific Ocean last month is set to reach its destination this coming Tuesday — a floating garbage pile twice the size of Texas.

Halfway between San Francisco and Hawaii, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of five such masses bobbing along Earth’s oceans, CNN reported.

The environmental group Ocean Cleanup designed the pipe with a 3-meter-deep net attached to it to sweep up debris below the water’s surface. The system, nicknamed Wilson, will then hold its haul in place until a boat — scheduled to journey out to the GPGP every few months — comes to ferry it away like an oceanic garbage truck.

The group and its 24-year-old founder and CEO, Boyan Slat, hope Wilson will be able to collect 50 tons of trash by April 2019.

“That plastic is still going to be there… in ten years,” Salt told CNN. “It’s probably still going to be there in 100 years, so really only if we go out there and clean it up (is) this amount of plastic going to go down.”

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