Nineteen-year-old Dutch inventor and environmentalist Boyan Slat recently unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that he says could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans.
The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world.
Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel.
The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.
Slat estimated that the cleanup process would take about five years, and it could greatly increase awareness about the world’s plastic garbage patches.