Cleaning up the oceans is a huge undertaking, especially for a single nonprofit, but to have Microsoft on your side is a nice bonus.
The Ocean Cleanup she's born in 2013 with the aim of cleaning up the great mass of plastic waste in the Pacific. Since then, the project has also embraced the goal of cleaning up the oceans by preventing new waste from entering the ocean. This means cleaning up the rivers that carry many of the pollutants. in 2018, The Ocean Cleanup has partnered with Microsoft to develop machine learning models to track and recognize plastic. Since then, The Ocean Cleanup's plastic "collectors" have plumbed rivers and increasingly learn to recognize the plastic to be cleaned.
A fleet of interceptors to clean up the rivers
The Ocean Cleanup: How an Interceptor Works
The current moves the debris onto a permeable conveyor belt, leaving only pollutants behind. Depending on the weather, current and other factors, a single interceptor can collect more than 5 tons (11.000 lbs) of debris in one day. Once full, the interceptor brings the waste ashore for sorting at a local facility.
This is where Microsoft's help comes in
In 2018, the Microsoft employee Drew Wilkinson he contacted The Ocean Cleanup via email to explain how the tech giant could help the nonprofit at its annual hackathon. "Microsoft has immense computing resources that could really help you track your efforts at a fraction of the cost using AI.", he wrote in his outreach email.