“To truly rid the oceans of plastic, what we need to do is two things. One, we need to clean up the legacy pollution, the stuff that has been accumulating for decades and doesn’t go away by itself. But, two, we need to close the tap, which means preventing more plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place. Rivers are the arteries that carry the trash from land to sea.”

The patch, a trash vortex between the West Coast of North America and Japan,2 is twice the size of Texas.3 During its test run in the Garbage Patch, System 001/B captured visible pieces of plastic debris — sometimes called macroplastics — large ghost nets used with commercial fishing and even microplastics in its haul.4



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