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A young Dutch inventor is widening his effort to clean up floating plastic from the Pacific Ocean by moving into rivers, too, using a new floating device to catch garbage before it reaches the seas.
The 25-year-old university dropout Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup to develop and deploy a system he invented when he was 18 that catches plastic waste floating in the ocean.
Saturday - Step - Fight - Device - Interceptor
On Saturday he unveiled the next step in his fight: A floating solar-powered device that he calls the "Interceptor" that scoops plastic out of rivers as it drifts past.
"We need to close the tap, which means preventing more plastic from reaching the ocean in the first place," he said, calling rivers "the arteries that carry the trash from land to sea."
Slat - Organization - Drawn - Criticism - Trash
Slat's organization has in the past drawn criticism for focusing only on the plastic trash already floating in the world's oceans. Experts say 9 million tons (8 million metric tons) of plastic waste, including plastic bottles, bags, toys and other items, flows annually into the ocean from beaches, rivers and creeks, endangering marine life in the oceans, including whales .
Three of the machines have already been deployed to Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam — and a fourth is heading to the Dominican Republic, he said.
Izham - Hashim - Government - Selangor - State
Izham Hashim from the government of Selangor state in Malaysia was present at the launch and said he was happy with the machine.
"It has been used for 1 1/2 months in the river and it's doing very well, collecting the plastic bottles and all the rubbish," he said.
Slat - Rivers - % - Plastic - Pouring
Slat said he believes 1,000 rivers are responsible for some 80% of plastic pouring into the world's oceans and he wants to tackle them...
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