Guatemalan activists try giant screen to clean up river

GUATEMALA CITY -- The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, has placed a massive, steel mesh screen on a river that is heavily polluted outside of Guatemala City in an effort to prevent plastics from reaching the ocean.

Guatemalan activists try giant screen to clean up river

GUATEMALA CITY -- The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, has placed a massive, steel mesh screen on a river that is heavily polluted outside of Guatemala City in an effort to prevent plastics from reaching the ocean.

Fluctuating river currents have left trash mounds in the Las Vacas river. The trash could all be washed downstream into the Caribbean as the rainy season begins, if not for the device called an Interceptor Trashfence.

The screen looks like a large cyclone-shaped metal fence that runs across the riverbed. It is attached to the banks of the river. One part of the device seemed to have buckled after it caught so much trash.

Boyan Slat (director of Ocean Cleanup), stated that the goal is to clean up plastics. According to him, the river Las Vacas is home to approximately 20,000 tons of trash each year.

To find the best way to install the barrier, tests are ongoing.

The group released a statement saying that they continue to evaluate variables like fence height, mesh size and foundation security throughout the pilot period in Guatemala.

Honduras is where most of the plastic ends up, and this has led to complaints about trash.

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