A Grand Plan to Clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
In May, 2017, a twenty-two-year-old Dutch entrepreneur named Boyan Slat unveiled a contraption that he believed would rid the oceans of plastic. In a former factory in Utrecht, a crowd of twelve hundred people stood before a raised stage. The setting was futuristic and hip. A round screen set in the stage floor displayed 3-D images of Earth; behind Slat, another screen charted the rapid accumulation of plastic in the Pacific Ocean since the nineteen-fifties.