Boyan Slat, a 27-year-old California resident, learned of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch just ten years ago. It was then he was told there was no hope of ever cleaning it up.
At the time, there was no method for removing the seemingly endless collection of trash floating in our oceans. Now there is.
System 002, nicknamed Jenny, was designed by Slat and further improved by a team of engineers. On October 9, 2021, Jenny successfully netted 20,000 pounds of garbage that will be taken to shore, sorted, and recycled. Some of the plastics will even be used to create a new line of designer sunglasses, the first product to be made from recovered ocean debris.
Jenny is capable of collecting microplastics as small as 1 millimeter and poses no threat to wildlife. Slat predicts that with additional Jennies in use, 90% of our oceans' floating plastic could be removed by 2040.