See Plans For The 62-Mile Wall That Would Capture Trash In The Pacific

Nature isn’t doomed if we work fast enough.

That’s the essential premise fueling The Ocean Cleanup, an organization that hopes to pull an unbelievable amount of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean in the next decade.

The story has always been: We can’t clean it up, so the best thing we can do is not make it worse,” Boyan Slat, Ocean Cleanup founder, told The Huffington Post in a Skype interview. “To me, that’s depressing.”

That is depressing. Imagine Earth as a stewing mound of sun-baked waste that everyone’s standing on, nostrils clenched shut by fingers. Some may do their part to avoid making the mound bigger, but how many are able to make it smaller?

Slat thinks his team can.

The Ocean Cleanup, which is funded in large part by entrepreneurs like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, recently collected data on the plastic trash in the North Pacific Ocean as part of its “Mega Expedition.” Crews on nearly 30 ships used a smartphone app and other tools to keep track of the plastic they observed in the water. Slat needs the data to help enact an ambitious plan: the deployment of a massive aquatic barrier that will corral trash into a concentrated area for collection.

“This is the first time anyone’s ever quantified the large debris — things like crates, bottles, buoys and nets,” Slat told HuffPost.

“The amount of large stuff really was a surprise. It was a lot more big stuff than small stuff by a factor of 100 or 1,000. Some is still to be analyzed, but it’s clear there’s a lot more plastic out there than expected,” he continued.

(Story continues below slideshow.)

Here’s the good news: While the amount of plastic waste was shocking, the problem can be remedied. In 2020, —> Read More