As the Director of Business Development and Marketing for the Environmental Cleanup Coalition (ECC), a nonprofit, non-governmental agency founded in 2008, I am requesting your support. Our mission is to remove the plastic debris accumulating in the middle of the North Pacific Gyre, while also finding ways to revitalize the health of our marine environment that has been greatly impacted by this trash. We are an action-oriented group of concerned individuals coming together to educate and bring awareness about the dangers of plastic in our water. Our focus is on creating a community built around the passion of action and the love of the oceans. This will span across industries, specialties and countries! It all begins with your help. ECC is an independent environmental organization with 501(c)(3) tax status (application in process), so all donations are tax deductible. For more information about tax deductions we recommend you talk with your tax advisor. ECC is jointly based out of Santa Cruz, California and Maui, Hawaii.
For those of you that don't know, the North Pacific Gyre is a large stretch of ocean between Japan and the West Coast of The United States of America. A gyre is described as a vortex of ocean currents that form a swirling pattern and there are several of these areas in each of our oceans. As of today, it is estimated to have 3.5 million tons of plastic debris trapped in this wind and ocean current. Although, this plastic pollution is a growing problem in each of the gyres, our aim is to start with the NPG and then replicate the process over time to all the world's oceans.
One of the proposed cleanup methods I have developed involves purchasing an old Cargo Container Ship and retrofitting it with the specialized equipment to collect the variety of trash pieces located in the gyre. The ship is designed to work in three stages and is geared at collecting more then 30,000 tons of trash per trip.
Stage 1 - Collection of Large Pieces of Trash
One to three boats will be lowered by a crane from the bow of the ship. These boats will search at the head of the ship for any trash larger then 3-ft in size. Pulling the trash up and placing it in a dump basket on the boat. When the basket is full the boat returns to the ship and the crane lifts the basket over a cargo container with a retractable roof and dumps the trash out. The basket is then lowered back to the boat to be refilled. The cable on the crane will have extra length to allow for the towing of extra large pieces directly on to the ship.
Stage 2 - Collection of Medium Pieces of Trash
Floating platforms will be lowered on both sides of the ship as work stations. On the front of the platform is a wire conveyor belt that will be dropped into the water. The belt pulls up any thing larger then 3inches in size and dumps it on a rubber conveyor belt running the length of the platform. Workers alongside the conveyor will pull any sea life off the belt and return it to the sea. The rubber belt leads to a lift belt that dumps the trash in to a shoot on the top of the ship. The shoot leads to the sorting belt where the trash is separated by recycling classifications. The trash is then sorted and compacted into cubes, except glass, and loaded into cargo containers.
Stage 3 - Collection of Micro Bits of Trash
At the back of the ship large bellow pumps suck up the polluted water through remotely geared hoses, 5 inches in diameter. The water is pored onto a screen conveyor belt that allows the water to pass through and collects the small bits of trash. Workers check the trash for any sea life that might have got pumped up with the trash and moves it to a troth under the belt that will immediately return it to the sea behind the ship.The Trash is then Piped into Cargo Containers.
Once the Cargo containers are full, the crane will lift the boats back onboard and the ship will head to port. The cargo container will then be loaded onto trucks that will drive them to the recycling centers. Empty containers would then be loaded for the next trip.
This process is then repeated again and again.
Director of Business Development and Marketing
The Environmental Cleanup Coalition