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Ocean Cleanup aims to have collected 90 percent of all plastic in the oceans at the latest in 2040.
The non-profit foundation was started ten years ago by the teenager, Boyan Slat, and has developed its own system to collect the plastic.
They are still in the development phase, but have now started to collect a considerable amount of plastic from the Pacific Ocean. On Twitter, Boyan Slat writes that 250,000 kilograms have now been collected, which corresponds to 0.25 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And this has been done with one single small system.
By system, they mean ships with Ocean Cleanup's own developed enormous arms, which capture the plastic. The goal is to have several, even larger systems, up and running that sweep the ocean for plastic.
The teenager changing the world
A few years ago, I wrote about Boyan Slat:
On a holiday to Greece at the age of 16, he became aware of the problem of plastics in the ocean. What surprised Boyan Slat was that no one was making a comprehensive effort to deal with it.
"Why don't we just clean it up?" he wondered, and used a school project to delve into the problem and find a possible solution.
He presented the solution in a TEDx talk: A sort of ship with long arms on the sides that catches the plastic, was what he suggested.
It took a while, but six months later the clip began to circulate and he used the attention to crowdfund $90,000, to be able to do an in-depth study. He had the help of more than 100 scientists, who worked voluntarily on the project.
The study was over 500 pages long and in it, Slat argued that one could capture 50 percent of all plastics in the Pacific Ocean in five years.
Another crowdfunding campaign was launched, now with the goal of raising enough money to design a system and conduct tests on it. They raised over two million dollars for the project he named The Ocean Cleanup.
The Angry Optimist