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World Oceans Day

June 8 is observed the world over as World Oceans Day. Activists and students get together on this occasion to celebrate our oceans and spread awareness about them. The relevance of this day can be summed up with the fact that about eight million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans every single year. This amount of plastic waste is equal to the weight of about 90 aircraft carriers.

In April of this year, researchers at The University of Western Australia claimed that despite the Indian Ocean being the world’s biggest dumping ground for plastic waste, it is unclear as to where that waste goes. Sighting how the technology to track plastic waste is yet to be developed, researchers said that the need to determine the fate of plastic in the Indian Ocean is essential. These concerns were sounded in a research paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.

While tracking plastic waste in oceans is essential, removing this waste is even more important for the survival of the human race. In the past, attempts have been made to conduct large-scale ocean cleanups. However, no such attempt has registered success in this regard. The most daring attempt in this direction was made by a foundation called The Ocean Cleanup.

In September of 2018, The Ocean Cleanup announced its plans to launch the world’s first ocean cleanup system, ‘System 001’. A curved, 2000-foot-long plastic tube designed to trap marine plastics present within 10 feet of the ocean’s surface. During the system’s trial run from the San Fransisco Bay, a 59-foot-piece at one end of the curved system broke off. While the pilot sail did not garner success, determined individuals with The Ocean Cleanup said that they are not willing to give up on the oceans and will continue to “design, test, break, repeat.”