For the first time in history, conservationists have collected trash from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for recycling.
The patch is a massive island of trash drifting halfway between California and Hawaii. Over a trillion pieces of debris have collected there because of the swirling *vortex of current—a floating mass roughly twice the size of Texas.
After discovering the patch in the 90s, scientists said it would take thousands of years to clean it up—but Slat quickly *made a name for himself after he presented a TEDx talk in which he claimed that he could do it in less than ten, if he could get his special machinery built.
Though his claim caused many skeptics to *raise their eyebrows, Slat dropped out of college so he could *bring his plans to life. Apart from crowdfunding $2.2 million for his idea, he *garnered millions more dollars through interested investors.
“After beginning this journey seven years ago, this first year of testing in the *unforgivable environment of *the high seas strongly indicates that our vision is attainable and that the beginning of our mission to rid the ocean of plastic garbage, which has *accumulated for decades, is within our sights,” said Slat.Once fully operational, The Ocean Cleanup will return plastic to land for recycling. The timing of that phase of the mission depends on further testing and design *iteration.
海洋清理器（The Ocean Cleanup）一旦完全投入使用，便能將塑料帶回陸地以進行回收。該階段任務的時間則取決於進一步的測試和設計的反覆改良。