20-Year-Old Develops The World’s Largest Floating Structure To Cleanup The Ocean

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). The Ocean Cleanup, founded by 20-year-old Dutchman, Boyan Slat, is deploying a first of its kind fleet to help tackle those nasty plastics polluting our oceans.

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.”

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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.

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Boyan Slat isn’t though 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.”

Aren’t you glad someone is finally attempting to tackle this problem? You can see more over at their website here.

Be sure to share this with your friends on Facebook before you go. For more stories like these, subscribe to our e-mail list. (h/t iflscience) (photos via: The Ocean Cleanup)

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