Writer Andrew Lewis sketches out Slat’s boy-genius backstory: When he was 16, he went scuba diving in Greece and was appalled by all of the debris in the water. The experience inspired Slat to develop a potential solution. As Lewis explains, it’s a massive “V-shaped floating barrier (think of a giant pool noodle with a five-foot fin extending below the water’s surface).” The idea is that currents will sweep in the trash, and a receptacle at the vertex of the device will trap it.
"A Young Man Tries to Save the Oceans From Plastic With Floating Noodle Look-Alikes" is from the January 20, 2017 Health & Science section of The Washington Post. It was written by Vicky Hallett and narrated by Jill Melancon.