Ocean plastic: How tech is being used to clean up waste problem

Trying to solve the world’s ocean plastic pollution problem has been a “long and painful journey” for Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat.

The 28-year-old founder of non-profit environmental organisation The Ocean Cleanup has been working on ways to filter plastic waste out of the Pacific Ocean for nearly 10 years.

He told BBC News it has been harder than he ever imagined it would be.

“The planet is pretty big, it turns out,” Boyan said.

“There’s about 1,000 rivers we need to tackle and five ocean garbage patches, [so] the first few years were really about trying to understand the problem.”

The world’s biggest area of accumulated ocean plastic, commonly dubbed “the Great Pacific Garbage Patch“, is located in the North Pacific Ocean.

Containing a huge build-up of plastic debris ranging from large fishing nets to flake-sized microplastics, it has been one of the main targets for The Ocean Cleanup team.

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