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Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is one of the biggest environmental problems on the planet. How do you clean up an area that is not only as large as Queensland, but so remote you couldn’t support the required fleet of ships? A Dutch foundation thinks it has the answer: a system of 50 floating screens which can catch plastic as small as 1cm in diameter.

What happens to the plastic that’s smaller than that? And what do we do with it once we collect it? Dr Lynne Van Herwerden is a researcher of marine life and microplastics and senior lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville.

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