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20-year old to launch world's first ocean cleaning system in 2016

Stashed in: Ecology!, Simpsons!, Under the sea!

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There's never been an ocean cleaning system before?!

That's right.

An estimated 300 million tons of plastic are produced and thrown away every year. Given that the stuff doesn't break down easily over time, this is extremely bad news for the environments in which it accumulates. For example, an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic are estimated to be floating through the oceans right now, threatening marine organisms that can accidentally ingest it or become tangled in it. To clear all that plastic up certainly seems like a gargantuan and costly task, but one 20-year-old believes he has a solution.

Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Boyan Slat announced that his organization will be deploying a world first by next year – the first system to safely remove plastic waste from oceans.

The structure he has designed will float, buffered along by the oceans' currents, and snare plastics and other debris, which will then be picked up via a conveyor belt. At over 2,000 meters (6,561 feet), this debris-trapping system will be the longest floating structure in the ocean. The Ocean Cleanup plans to deploy the floating structure off the coast of Japan in early 2016, where it will be in operation for at least two years.

I thought this was what greenpeace cared about, but clearly they don't, since they've never done this.

I'm glad someone is doing it.

I'm sad that no one was doing it until now.

The problem of ocean plastic has reached critical mass.  Literally.

I believe this was featured in the "Lil Lisa's Slurry" episode of the Simpsons:

I'm surprised it took this long to reach critical mass.

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