This is what I found on USATODAY.COM:

 A 60-foot chunk of the Ocean Cleanup device, deployed with much fanfare in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in October, has broken off and the entire plastic collection system will now be towed back to port for an overhaul and upgrade.

The break was discovered on Dec. 29 during a routine inspection by the cleanup system’s crew. A 60-foot end section of the 2,000-foot boom that corrals the plastic had detached, Boyan Slat, Cleanup’s CEO, posted on the Dutch non-profit’s blog on New Year’s Eve.

The fracture was caused by material fatigue, he wrote. That’s likely because of the intense action of the waves that puts tremendous stress on objects in the water.

The Ocean Cleanup is a passive system involving a 2,000-foot floating series of connected 4-foot booms that form a giant horseshoe at the surface of the ocean. Below that hangs a 9-foot skirt that corrals the tiny pieces of plastic trash that float in the water. The action of the currents and waves is meant to push trash into the system’s center while the micro-plastic, as it’s called, is captured by the hanging barrier. The total cost of investment in the project is 20 million dollars.

Information provided by USATODAY.COM.

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