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Massive Boom Hopes to Clean up Pacific Ocean's Plastic Trash
Engineers are deploying a trash collection device to corral plastic litter floating between California and Hawaii in an attempt to clean up the world's largest garbage patch in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. The 2,000-foot (600-meter) long floating boom is being towed from San Francisco to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—an island of trash twice the size of Texas. The system was created by The Ocean Cleanup, an organization founded by Boyan Slat, a 24-year-old innovator from the Netherlands who first became passionate about cleaning the oceans when he went scuba diving at age 16 in the Mediterranean Sea and saw more plastic bags than fish. "The plastic is really persistent and it doesn't go away by itself and the time to act is now," Slat said, adding that researchers with his organization found plastic going back to the 1960s and 1970s bobbing in the patch.