The Ocean Cleanup Project aims to collect floating plastic from the oceans. By having static "sea water processors" filter the water.

Are there any existing small scale deployments of this idea, i.e to clean lakes?


There is something that is moderately similar in use on the Thames - the difference being that it collects only floating rubbish, and does not extend to the riverbed:

Picture of floating rubbish trap on River Thames. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Apparently there is also a more active version of a similar concept, also on the Thames, where a filter is moved through the water by a powered vessel - shown in this video.

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The Ocean Cleanup project uses

long floating barriers which - being at an angle - capture and concentrate the plastic, making mechanical extraction possible [source]

The system is fixed to the sea bed and passively catches the debris that floats by in the natural circulation of the ocean water (gyres).

AFAIK there are no plans or other initiatives that apply this technique to lakes. I suspect that the passive approach used in the ocean cleanup project would be less effective in lakes where currents usually are not as strong as in the ocean.

I think what comes closest to a 'lake cleanup project' are the floating trash and oil containing booms that you can buy or hire from several companies (e.g. this one, no affiliation just the first website I found using google).

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