Here are some developing dream ideas for ocean clean up. Salvaged gyre plastic, used for operational fuel and for making salvaged plastic blocks, to store for other applications or markets is my focus on this webpage of 3D models. A larger vessel seems practical to process the salvaged plastic, with smaller vessels which would would yarn the loose plastic from the waters.

In this year of 2017, i was intrigued by the concept of a large ship to dry salvaged plastic then efficiently and cleanly burn it while solidifying surplus melt, into blocks either for market, or self to cast (fabricate), interlocking blocks for floatation platforms. I welcome discussion on these concepts. In the 1980s i experimented with solid fuel burning in a regenerative, vortex burner. Here is my older vortex burner page. I simply imagine this cogeneration system. To compare and add further considered details over time.

Originally i felt that large bails could densify the mass sufficiently to store up commercially valuable plastic masses. An island size mass of salvaged plastic had seemed an adequate volume to dream towards the next stage. I casually talked once about modeling a plastic island of considerable size, as a floatation resource might represent considerable value. These ideas were dropped for lack of others to share the exploration with. I only focus on the artgineering models. Interlocking platform blocks seem possible to form and with further experimentation could be evaluated. Will these produce durable tensile strength needed to build large floating structures? Or would large densified, waste plastic find markets on land?

I believe that a large ship could be architecturally laid out, for a very clean process activity. Since the plastic is already pre washed by the ocean. The decks could be well fitted for sky lighting the work areas. A further developed architecture could motivate crews to live and work well, as there is so much need to work for ocean restoration. Next below are some ideas for smaller boats to yarn salvaged plastic.

How on earth may we ever handle the plastic-karma? Obscene industrial standards pollute the oceans without any solutions and authorities blame the little consumers. Yes, common people have personal responsibility for all their personal actions. The heavier effects will be paid by those who reaped the greater profit from this waste stream. Causes and effects are piling up and i pity the fate of the profiteers who ignore causes and effects. The ocean has already washed this waste. What can we do with it now?

I enjoy challenging solutions for "salvaging-the-ocean-washed plastic", to reduce pollution hazards. Possibly to evolve a market or re-purpose plastics. I expect that many people would volunteer time and skills to work on such operations. Wealthy people might pay some start up costs and pay down their karmic debt. Poorer people might find something supportive to do. To me this seems like a liberating adventure for many kinds of people with applicable skills or assets. I love inventive discussion.

The first concept follows: What if compacting trash could produce a threaded yarn? This means consolidation of loose plastic pieces into a more solidified form. Creature protection from loose plastics is an initial, minimum objective. Waste removal is the main task. A vortical-conveyor-dewatering-compaction concept, could assist collection of loose plastic initially. A spinning action during collection might sufficiently yarn the loose plastic to convey it towards the processing ship. .

What struck me, was that yarn is simply spun into coils which bind the whole! So that we might find just the right spinning tools to accomplish the daunting task. Below, my model of a two hull boat explores a funnel effect of parallel hulls, as well as water-turbines to spin the plastic in a horizontal vortex, as the boat moves forward. A yarned mass may be trailed behind for separate, continued binding operations, to be harvested by small freighters or "weave storage islands".

The front of two hulls take in ocean water and force it out through through jets aiming towards the aft sections. (Better hull concepts will follow later).This turbulence imaginatively spins the trash into something like yarn. Highs peed jets of water are proven to cut even hard materials, so that nozzles might be arranged to slice pieces into longitudinal pieces, adapted for yarn. The same expenditure of energy would propel the boat forward. Scaled down experiments may explore possibilities, while encouraging further experimental developments!

Preventing innocent creatures from entrapment in such powerful jets is where work-study-volunteers might come in. People who would live on such a boat for a period of time and monitor the process, including the rescue of stray creatures, returning them to a cleaner ocean, directly.

Much lower costing feasibility testing should be carried out first. To imagine and test experiments, to see how this might work. My art work here is only preliminary imagination and a call for desirable conversions. Please write or Skype. Discussions will spur on further efforts, to rig up actual vortical experimentation. I have many engineered pressure washer nozzles, but need a 10-20 horsepower pump and other fittings. I have a suitable pond, next to my workshop and already spend my time on humanitarian exploration, (through investigative prototyping).

I will continue my modeling of these ideas. Use the "Reload Button" on your PC browser, to see the latest updates. (Or help me if you want: Send me a link for the exact code, for me to copy paste onto the hidden code of this page. I use the Adobe-Dreamweaver App and do not use it's coder's interface.)

Technical prototype modeling is my main skill, based on my 4 decades of low tech prototyping (and small contractor occupation). As a result of 2 days spent on modeling the 2 hull boat geometry, exploring the mechanical feasibility in my mind, wondering if yarn can be spun with stout shapes of plastic, the feasibility has remained encouraging for me. Despite that additional mechanical mechanisms might also be required. Following is the original version of the gyre page, dating back to 2008.


Plastic-Karma? Industrial seed of self destruction?  vs  A Floatation Resource?

Picture above from NOAA. Ocean currents distribute many tons of accumulated plastic trash, because it floats. It seems as though there are too many tons for routine clean up. The loosely floating plastic may prove too awkwardly troublesome to recycle as a carbon resource. Indifferent powers that be do trash earth's gift of water and ecosystems, (by omitting to observe industrial self immolation, now evident). At least, consider cleanup solutions. Laws fail to solve littering issues. Who will start the clean up? Following are some mere concepts by Bo Atkinson, Maine USA.

First, the baler concept pictured above would pull flotsam into mechanical rollers which "roll" the garbage in order to make a cylindrical bale for subsequent recycling. Harpoon-like devices could "lasso" floating garbage clusters and reel them in for a twisting compaction to make bales. A "spaghetti fork" also is lowered into the garbage to provide more traction. After twirling the trash in sync with the rollers, the fork is retracted upwards to release the bale. It is expected that some cohesion will result from the trash itself, while additional baling filaments or wires are also likely required.

If a floating island could be built with the bales, could such an island economically withstand storms or tsunamis? Would trash consolidation remain substantially firm in order for life forms to attach and offer more of the environmental stabilizing factors of ecosystems? Does loose trash shed off ecosystems? Would stabilized trash allow healthy growth? I've read that plastic does harbor anaerobic bacteria (bad guys), but aerobic bacteria (good guys) do flourish on anaerobic bacteria, so could eco-harmony develop? If stainability proved possible, then at least one re-use of the material exists. What purpose could such an island serve? I would think a good preliminary use to consider is to establish a base for researching long-term plastic-waste research.  However, the artificial flotation property of plastic may yet serve a more important, useful service. Modeling an atoll would seems fun to me.

Consider the vast amount of plastic that does in fact float. Note the location in relatively calmer areas of the oceans. If massive floatation was wanted, here it has already been delivered and awaits intelligent assembly.  Sea life awaits it's rendering into a less harmful format. Collecting floating bales may help jump start a better feasibility study, to further evaluate bale collection for intelligent use. At least, baling will reduce the maiming caused by loosely floating trash.


Continued baling research might offer means to prevent wild life molestation. Floating islands as a base for further research, also brings to mind aqua culture research.  Are ocean trash-gyres distant from coveted fishing turfs? If so, then aqua culture research may benefit from a new operational base. Could bales be formed into floating, artificial atolls?

Many pictures of the amazing gyre phenomenon can be seen on the www. Estimates of size say it is larger than small countries in expanse, (surface area).

"North Pacific gyre"

"Trash vortex"

"Great Pacific Garbage Patch"

Gyres: A recycling force of it's own design? Nature: A die-hard, self-corrective system but would it include humanity's self destruction? Are we that close to the tipping point of self destruction through destruction of ocean life? From the web, next, is an illustration of some of the larger ocean gyres, around the world.  Gyres offer us some help to capture the trash, but will any power that be do something positive? I wonder.


Would a working solution encourage people to dump more aggressively in the oceans?  It is said much of this trash comes from land disposal which carelessly blows into the sea. Are so many human lives disparaged by leadership examples in our world, that they care less? Is there no hope for inspiring all humans to prosper, rather than planning an unproductive despair, for the masses?  I hope generally and want to work on attainable solutions.  I will experiment with more design models such as an artificial, floating island, for a gyre.

Here is information about my structural abilities.

My consulting service.

Here is my pictorial index.

Here is a list of my many structural ideas.

Public comments / ideas:   I am intrigued by this real problem and invite people to think about this idea with me.   E m a i l-     Here is one which addresses specific tools. Other comments received so far did not focus on tools. Apparently some interests are considering "harvesting" plastic for fuel or by products on large scales.

I'm not very familiar with the specifics referred to below, but share it all the same--

Hi Bo,
Your concept of baling plastic trash intrigues me.

I do brush clearing for fire safety and have been interested in baling brush for others to chip for some time with limited success. For brush clearing with a small mono cable skyline I have used hollow braided rope (non rotational) to receive smaller 'chokers' made from 450 lb knot strength baling twine by inserting the twine a few inches upstream. This connection prevents rotation which is a potential problem. The chokers are cut with a simple blade on a block to drop the load where desired.

You commented "It is expected that some cohesion will result from the trash itself, while additional baling filaments or wires are also likely required."

Do you think that it might be practical to sort some of the trash into filaments which would in turn be wound into twine and then two strand rope?
The rope would be (chain?) stitched to form nets or pads to collect smaller pieces when dragged through the water.

To collect smaller pieces, a hollow mono cable dyneema fiber rope (Samson Blue is typical with 1/7 the weight of wire rope with equivalent strength) a few thousand feet long on a capstan winch could be used to make a continuous loop containing these small collector nets. Of course the hollow rope has to be slack at the point of insertion, but this could be done before deployment or even during deployment at some additional cost.

By circling, the trawler could collect smaller plastic pieces. Once aboard the trawler, additional bundling could take place and perhaps the bundles could be grouped into islands as you conceptualized.

I have gotten many ideas from your work online. Thank you for sharing.

Paul Miller
Georgetown, California