Dutch inventor unveils device to scoop plastic out of rivers

Dutch inventor and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Boyan Slat speaks to members of the media before System 001 is towed out of the San Francisco Bay in San Francisco, California on September 08, 2018. - The prototype technology, developed by Boyan Slat, is about 2,000 feet of floating booms that will be towed out to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating mass of plastics and trash about the size of France, in hopes of helping remove the pollutants. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Dutch inventor Boyan Slat 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 founded The Ocean Cleanup to develop and deploy a system he invented when he was 18 that catches plastic waste floating in the ocean.

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.

Slat says rivers “are like the arteries that carry the trash from land to sea.”

He says three of the machines already are operating — in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam — and a fourth is heading to the Dominican Republic.

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