Inventor Boyan Slat

22-year-old Dutch inventor Boyan Slat's famous plan to clean up the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is finally about to be underway. "Instead of late 2020, the cleanup will now start in just 12 months from now, and parts of it are already in production," Slat says.

Slat's non-profit, "The Ocean Cleanup" plans to try and put systems in place that will remove massive amounts of plastic from the Pacific ocean. The invention is designed to float on and around the surface of this infamous garbage patch, and skim plastic off the top layer of water. Slat's original design involved mooring a massive plastic-collecting trap to the seabed 4.5 kilometers below — a controversial plan that gave rise to concerns amongst scientists. Slat says the group now plans to deploy smaller arrays with underwater 'anchors' that drift only about 600 meters beneath the surface. 

"These systems will automatically drift or gravitate to where the plastic is," Slat says. "Instead of us being able to clean up 42% of the patch in 10 years, we can now clean up 50% of the patch in five years."

We're all keeping our fingers crossed that Slat will finally put an end to this tragic water pollution, but even if it is not the final solution, we can all agree that it's a step in the right direction.

Sea's the day!


caroline danehy