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According to Tech Insider (This article and its images were originally posted on Tech Insider September 8, 2018 at 08:18PM.)
SAN FRANCISCO — It’s finally in the water.
For five years now, The Ocean Cleanup, an organization founded by 24-year-old Dutch innovator Boyan Slat, has been trying to create a system that can clean plastic out of the world’s oceans.
There’s a mind-boggling amount of plastic in the oceans, and that amount grows every day. At least 8 million metric tons of plastic pours into the sea every year — a number that’s considered a low estimate, since it doesn’t include commonly found debris like fishing nets. As this trash breaks down into tinier and tinier bits, much of it is eventually carried into one of five massive ocean regions, where plastic can be so concentrated that areas have garnered names like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
On Saturday, Slat’s organization began the journey out to sea with their first official 2,000-foot-long plastic cleaning array, System 001. The ship the Maersk Launcher towed the device through the San Francisco Bay out under the Golden Gate Bridge, en route to a final testing site and then — if everything goes well — they’ll head to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where the cleanup crew hopes that first system will be able to collect 50 tons of plastic in its first year.
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