Feel-Good Friday

A Dutch researcher has created a rig used to clean up the oceans’ garbage, because apparently, the oceans are dirtier than Philadelphia.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch can now be cleaned,” announced Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat, the wonderkid inventor who’s spent a decade inventing systems for waterborne litter collection.

Recent tests on his Ocean Cleanup rig called System 002, invented to tackle the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic pollution, were a success, leading Slat to predict that most of the oceanic garbage patches could be removed by 2040.

Luckily, I have promised myself to dump 1,000 pounds of trash into the ocean every year.

Intersections of ocean currents have created the massive floating islands of plastic trash—five slow-moving whirlpools that pull litter from thousands of miles away into a single radius. The largest one sits between California and Hawaii, and 27-year-old Slat has been designing and testing his systems out there, launching from San Francisco since 2013.

GNN has reported on his original design for the floating device, but his engineering team improved upon it. System 002, nicknamed “Jenny,” successfully netted 9,000 kilograms, or around 20,000 pounds in its first trial.

The researchers were not sure the device would work, and when it did, one yelled, “Holy mother of God, it worked!” Here’s hoping they can eradicate many of these garbage patches.