With an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans, it's time for someone to step up to the plate.
That person is Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of the nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup. The Dutch man plans to cut down the amount of plastic debris in the Pacific by half within a decade.
The 20-year-old — yes, he's 20 — recently announced that, instead of actively collecting all the debris in the ocean, he's letting the oceans do all the work.
According to the nonprofit's website, Slat's proposed system is made up of a series of floating barriers that span more than a mile; it's longest floating structure ever. Apparently, because it doesn't use nets, it will only trap floating plastic and not marine life. The debris is then picked up by conveyor belt.
In other words, the ocean will clean itself.
He plans to deploy the structure, which will travel the ocean for at least two years, in 2016. And if all goes according to plan (and let's all hope it does!), he will put more of these structures around the world.
Twenty shmenty. Age doesn't matter when you're saving the world.
Image via The Ocean Cleanup