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The Ocean Cleanup’s 2023 Triumph: A Decade of Impactful Progress

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In 2023, The Ocean Cleanup marked its 10th anniversary with an extraordinary milestone, celebrating a decade of dedicated efforts to combat ocean pollution. This monumental year has proven to be the organization’s most impactful yet, with millions of kilograms of trash successfully removed from rivers and oceans across the globe. The Ocean Cleanup’s commitment to innovation and sustainability has manifested in groundbreaking projects and initiatives, further solidifying its role as a leader in the fight against plastic pollution.

System 03 Launch in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
One of the key highlights of The Ocean Cleanup’s 2023 achievements was the launch of System 03 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This marked a significant transition from System 002, showcasing the organization’s continuous commitment to improving and expanding its cleanup capabilities. System 03 brings a new scale to the garbage patch cleanup, utilizing advanced technologies to efficiently and effectively remove plastic debris from one of the most notorious pollution hotspots in the world.

Interceptor Trashfence, Guatemala, Rio Las Vacas. First attempt of The Ocean Cleanup’s Trashfence in 2022

Interceptor 006 in the Rio Las Vacas, Guatemala
Addressing the source of pollution is crucial to making a lasting impact on ocean health. In 2023, The Ocean Cleanup deployed Interceptor 006, the first Interceptor Barricade, in the Rio Las Vacas in Guatemala. This river is recognized as one of the world’s most polluting, contributing significantly to plastic pollution in the Gulf of Honduras. By strategically placing Interceptor 006, The Ocean Cleanup aims to intercept and prevent plastic waste from reaching the ocean, addressing the issue at its root.

Seven Interceptors in Kingston Harbour, Jamaica
In an effort to bring about lasting change to pollution in Kingston Harbour and its mangroves, The Ocean Cleanup expanded its arsenal with seven Interceptors deployed in the region. Kingston Harbour in Jamaica faces challenges from riverine trash, and the strategic placement of Interceptors aims to shut off the sources of pollution, creating a cleaner and healthier environment for both marine life and local communities.

Waste sorting center staffed by members of the local community Waste Manager Enock Namwoyo (left) from The Ocean Cleanup and Mario Zea director from BiosferaGT at their sorting center Waste sorting center by BiosferaGT

Surpassing 8,000,000 Kilograms of Trash Removed
Perhaps the most remarkable achievement of the year is The Ocean Cleanup’s success in removing over 8,000,000 kilograms (17.8 million US pounds) of trash across its Oceans and Rivers programs. This notable accomplishment signifies a substantial increase from the beginning of the year, where the organization started at around 2 million kilograms. The exponential growth in trash removal underscores The Ocean Cleanup’s unwavering dedication to its mission and the positive impact it has made on global efforts to combat plastic pollution.


As The Ocean Cleanup reflects on its first decade of existence, the accomplishments of 2023 stand out as a proof to the organization’s resilience, innovation, and dedication to a cleaner, healthier planet. With the successful launch of System 03, the deployment of Interceptors in critical locations, and the significant increase in trash removal, The Ocean Cleanup has set a new standard for environmental stewardship. As the organization continues to evolve and expand its initiatives, the world can look forward to even greater strides in the ongoing battle against ocean pollution. The Ocean Cleanup’s 2023 achievements serve as an inspiring example of what can be accomplished through a decade of commitment, collaboration, and cutting-edge solutions.

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