Volunteers dedicated to cleaning the coastline have collected five tonnes of rubbish.
The full-size, crewless research ship will make one of the first autonomous transatlantic voyages.
A vast ocean-sieving expedition across the Atlantic has revealed that there is as much as 21 million tonnes of plastic particles in the ocean - much higher than estimated.
The MV Wakashio oil tanker split in two after running aground off Mauritius
As PPE use increases there's a concern masks and plastics may end up appearing on our beaches.
BBC Radio Cornwall
Environmentalists say a cave in north Cornwall is completely full of what they say is "tonnes" of discarded fishing gear.
The so-called "ghost gear", as conservationists call it, is thought to have come from fishing boats, washed on to shore and trapped in a cave on a beach near Polzeath.
Such gear can include fishing nets, long lines, fish traps and lobster pots left drifting at sea, usually after being accidentally lost from fishing grounds or boats, or discarded in an emergency such as in a storm.
Local campaigner, Andy Frost, said he spent the weekend trying to move much of it on his own, but said it had become so tangled he was appealing for volunteers to help.
He said: "We need some manpower to get it up rocks and out of the cave", adding that his attempts to cut some of it into small, more manageable pieces was "a mission".
As the world battles the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more protective equipment is ending up in the sea.