This 20-Year-Old Captain Planet Is Going To Save The Oceans From All Our Garbage

Our waters have a big problem, but Boyan Slat and The Ocean Cleanup Project have an even bigger solution.

As summertime approaches, many of us will be heading to the beach for some much needed R & R. We want the sand, the salty air and, of course, the ocean. Yes, we love the water, but right now it's essentially sick -- in fact, it's estimated that 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are polluting it right now.

Thankfully, Boyan Slat just might have the antidote our oceans need. The 20-year-old is an inventor and the CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, a not-for-profit organization he founded in 2013. The company has announced that in 2016, it will launch "the world's first ocean cleaning system."

The Ocean Cleanup

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"Taking care of the world’s ocean garbage problem is one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces today," Boyan said. "This deployment will enable us to study the system’s efficiency and durability over time."

So what exactly is the plan? Massive floating barriers called "the coastal pilot" will use the ocean's currents to collect plastic debris. These barriers, "the longest floating structure ever deployed on the oceans," will be stationed off Tsushima -- an island located between Japan and South Korea.

The Ocean Cleanup

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It's just the first step in the project's ambitious plan to clean up our waters. It'll be a multi-year effort to get our waters back to how they should be: clean, healthy and free of trash.

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