Anchoring parachutes to the Ocean Cleanup system could help it better capture fast-moving plastic waste.
As promising as the Ocean Cleanup Project is, it has had some difficulty performing well in the real world. Part of this difficulty is due to the fact that floating plastic moves at different speeds based on conditions, which can make it difficult to keep contained long enough for recovery by humans.
To help alleviate this problem, the Ocean Cleanup team attached a parachute-like device to the barrier, which slows it down enough to allow the fast-moving plastic to flow into its opening. In fact, the new design worked so well, it captured enough plastic to overflow its floating cork line and trigger the team to increase the cork line diameter for the next trials at sea.