The scale of the problem facing the world’s oceans first struck Boyan Slat during a summer holiday to Greece when he was 16.
Instead of colourful fish in azure waters, his abiding memory of the trip is of plastic debris on beaches and in the waves.
Now 21, the Dutch entrepreneur is planning to deploy a pilot device off southern Japan that will, if all goes according to plan, gather and capture some of the millions of tons of plastic that is clogging up the world’s oceans.
And if the small-scale Ocean Cleanup Array can be demonstrated to work off the island of Tsushima from next year, a larger version could be sited halfway between Hawaii and California in 2020 as the most ambitious effort to rid the Pacific of plastic rubbish to date.
“This is truly a global problem”, Mr Slat told The Telegraph from his organisation’s offices in the Dutch city of Delft.
“An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year, which is the equivalent volume of two Empire State Buildings every week”.
Read The Telegraph