Cleaning Up the Oceans

Boyan Slat’s ocean cleaning system captures and removes trash from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The world’s oceans are in trouble. Millions of tons of plastic pollution [harmful substances in the environment] enter the oceans each year. Most of it gets swept into “garbage patches” such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). The GPGP is a huge swirling patch of trash in the Pacific Ocean. It is two times the size of Texas. That is a big problem! But an inventor named Boyan Slat has a big solution.

Slat’s solution has two parts. One part focuses on removing floating plastic from the garbage patches. For this, Slat and his team use ocean cleaning systems. The other part focuses on stopping more plastic from entering the ocean. For this, they use “Interceptors.” Interceptors stop the flow of trash in rivers before it reaches the ocean.

So far, Slat and his team have removed over 8 million kilograms of trash. They have 14 Interceptors in use around the world. The ocean cleaning system they use today can clean an area the size of a football field every 5 seconds. They plan to use many cleaning systems to tackle the GPGP.

What Can You Do?  What can you do to prevent pollution?

Photo Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo