If it hurts your heart a little every time you see pictures of gargantuan amounts of trash and plastic in the ocean, then worry no more (we hope).
Just imagine trying to clean up some 300 million tons of plastic that’s produced each year; 5 trillion of which are floating in our earth’s oceans causing harm to marine life.
“Taking care of the world’s ocean garbage problem is one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces today. Not only will this first cleanup array contribute to cleaner waters and coasts but it simultaneously is an essential step towards our goal of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” said Slat on the Ocean Cleanup Blog. “This deployment will enable us to study the system’s efficiency and durability over time.”
The structure Slat designed will buffer along the ocean’s currents and capture debris via a conveyer belt.
The debris-trapping system is the longest floating structure in the ocean measuring in at 6,561 feet. It is set to deploy off the coast of Japan in early 2016 and be in operation for at least two years.
Boyan Slat isn’t through just yet, he’s even created The Mega Expedition that will happen in August of 2015 where 50 vessels will cover approximately 1,351,357 miles 2 between Hawaii and California.
The purpose of this project is to create a high-resolution map of plastic in the Pacific Ocean and “collect more plastic measurements in three weeks than have been collected in the past 40 years combined.”
Slat has been working on this project since he was 18
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
**Update for 2018:
The first cleanup system will be deployed this summer with a global scale set for 2020. The global scale will include the 4 gyres of the oceans where plastic ends up continually circulating in the water. You can see more over at their website here.
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