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The Next Generation by Tony Ryan

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CHAPTER 1 A window into possibility: coping with the beautiful mess

A FUTURE FULL OF PROMISE

The future is meant to be a promise, not a threat. If Boyan Slat is any indication, our Next Generation will rise to that promise. This young Dutch entrepreneur is part of the new cohort determined to create an inspiring world up ahead. While he was still a teenager, Slat launched the Ocean Cleanup project,1 which has been dubbed the largest clean-up in history. His astounding proposal? That up to 40 per cent of all rubbish in the world's oceans be removed within 10 years.

This is no small ambition. About eight million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year, and the cost of conventional removal methods is prohibitive. Slat asked, Why move through the ocean with a clean-up, when the ocean can move through you? His ingenious system relies on the ocean's currents collecting the debris inside what is called an Ocean Cleanup Array. Much of the oceans' rubbish presently accumulates in five ocean garbage patches around the world. In 2017, the first pilot installation ...

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