The marine geophysical company Petroleum Geo-Services (PG-S), of Oslo, has developed a concept for the largescale collection of plastic in the oceans.
The company said it consists of a seismic vessel and a support vessel towing booms, in a fan formation, which are connected to a processing unit at the end of the spread.
The large onboard compressors, which usually supply the seismic source, would be used to pump air through a ventilated hose, towed at some 50m water depth between the seismic ship and the support vessel. PG-S said the air bubbles would attach to the submerged plastic which would then rise to the surface.
The processing unit at the end of the collection spread would separate organic materials from plastic. The latter would be compressed and packaged into synthetic skins. Once full, each skin section would be marked by GPS and AIS to be collected and towed to a processing facility for recycling.
“There are well-known garbage geysers in different oceans of the world and our plastic collection concept is intended to take advantage of the currents in these systems and collect the plastic before it eventually sinks to the seabed,” said Jon Erik Reinhardsen, the president of PG-S.