We know that plastic is highly present in the ocean gyres and it has been observed that organisms are both suffering and benefiting from its presence. Before launching System 001, in 2018, an independent consultancy firm, CSA Ocean Sciences, conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for its operations. The results indicated that the operations of System 001 to remove plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch would result in a positive impact.
The Ocean Cleanup has since conducted many months of offshore testing and monitoring to understand the impact of our technology in this environment. As of now, we know that more research is needed to be able to properly understand all possible environmental impacts. To help bridge the gap of available information, biologists and researchers at The Ocean Cleanup are working in collaboration with other institutions and universities to improve our knowledge of this ecosystem and the possible impacts related to our operation. Our offshore work when testing our systems provides us with the opportunity to increase the knowledge available.
Before we scale up to a fleet of systems, we will conduct further EIAs to help us make the best decisions for deploying our cleanup systems.