[ti:Dutch Inventor Demonstrates Device to Remove Plastic from Rivers]
[00:00.04]A young Dutch inventor is widening his effort to clean up floating plastic from the Pacific Ocean.
[00:11.00]He has developed a floating device to trap plastic waste
[00:16.80]moving into rivers before it reaches the high seas.
[00:22.68]Boyan Slat was just 18 years old when he invented a system for catching waste in the ocean.
[00:32.32]He also founded an environmental group called The Ocean Cleanup.
[00:39.08]Its purpose is to develop and deploy the system.
[00:44.96]Last Saturday, the 25-year-old Slat announced the next step in his fight:
[00:53.36]a floating device that he calls the "Interceptor."
[00:58.64]It removes plastic out of rivers.
[01:02.12]The device is powered by energy from the sun.
[01:07.56]"We need to close the tap, which means preventing more plastic
[01:12.86]from reaching the ocean in the first place," Slat said.
[01:18.16]He added that rivers are "the arteries that carry the trash from land to sea."
[01:26.56]The Ocean Cleanup has been criticized in the past for directing its attention
[01:32.94]only on plastic waste already in the world's oceans.
[01:38.96]Experts say 8 million metric tons of waste flow into the ocean each year
[01:46.11]from rivers, creeks and seaside areas.
[01:51.56]The plastic endangers fish and other sea creatures.
[01:57.80]Three of the machines have already been deployed to Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
[02:05.53]Slat said a fourth is going to the Dominican Republic.
[02:11.80]Izham Hashim, a Malaysian government official, was present at the Interceptor's launch in his country.
[02:21.64]Hashim told The Associated Press (AP) that he was happy with the machine.
[02:27.34]"It has been used for 1 1/2 months in the river and it's doing very well,
[02:34.23]collecting the plastic bottles and all the rubbish," he said.
[02:40.16]Slat said he believes 1,000 rivers are responsible
[02:45.15]for about 80% of plastic going into the world's oceans.
[02:51.12]He said he wants to try to clean them all in the next five years.
[02:58.04]He added, "This is not going to be easy, but imagine if we do get this done.
[03:05.05]We could truly make our oceans clean again."
[03:10.20]Slat used his announcement to ask for support from countries interested in cleaning up their rivers.
[03:19.20]He also wants support from businesses prepared to offer financial support
[03:24.89]and help with the operation of the devices.
[03:30.20]The Interceptor is designed to be secured in rivers.
[03:34.57]Its nose is shaped to deflect away larger floating objects like tree trunks.
[03:42.76]The interceptors work by guiding plastic waste into an opening in the front of the devices.
[03:51.04]The waste is then carried inside the machine where it is dropped into containers.
[03:58.40]The interceptor sends a text message to local operators that can come and empty it when it is full.
[04:08.04]Slat demonstrated how it worked by putting hundreds of yellow rubber ducks
[04:13.60]into the water at the launch event in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.
[04:19.68]The interceptor caught nearly all of them.
[04:23.48]Each machine currently costs about $775,600.
[04:32.76]Slat said the cost will likely drop as production increases.
[04:39.36]Jan van Franeker is with the Wageningen Marine Research institute.
[04:45.92]He has been critical of The Ocean Cleanup in the past, but said the new device looks promising.
[04:55.04]He told the AP, "I am really happy they finally moved toward the source of the litter.
[05:02.44]The design, from what I can see, looks pretty good."
[05:07.60]Slat argued that the economic effect of not removing plastic from rivers
[05:13.63]is higher than the cost of buying and using the machines.
[05:19.68]"Deploying interceptors is even cheaper than deploying nothing at all," he noted.
[05:26.88]I'm Caty Weaver.