The Inertia for Good Editor

Photo: The Ocean Cleanup

The Inertia

The Ocean Cleanup has come a long way since Boyan Slat conceived it just over a decade ago. A teenager at the time, Slat’s vision for ridding the ocean of the plastics that pollute our waterways and create garbage patches around the globe first gained notoriety because of his unique trash-collecting system. Now several speed bumps and several years down the road, the project announced it has collected more than 10,000,000 kilograms of trash from our oceans. According to a press release, those 10 million kg (22 million pounds) are nearly equal to the weight of the Eiffel Tower, so it’s no small accomplishment.

“After many tough years of trial and error, it’s amazing to see our work is starting to pay off – and I am proud of the team who has brought us to this point.” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. “While we still have a long way to go, our recent successes fill us with renewed confidence that the oceans can be cleaned.”

While Slat introduced his design for a trash collecting system back in 2013, the prototype wasn’t completed and launched until late 2018. That test run of System 001 revealed some engineering challenges and a return to port in 2019 where the Ocean Cleanup began work on remedies and fixes to the initial problems of System 001. System 002, aka Jenny, showed new promise and by 2021 the project was truly marching forward on an ambitious mission of reducing floating plastic by 90 percent by the year 2040.

Jenny brought the Ocean Cleanup to the one-million kg mark in 2022 and the non-profit project gained even more traction when it launched System 003 the next year. Paired with a network of interceptors that collect trash from rivers in eight countries, the entire project is slowing the flow of pollution into oceans while the GPGP cleaning systems collect from mid-ocean garbage patches. With the mission hitting its 10-million kg mark now, it’s clear there has been exponential growth since working out those first kinks encountered with System 001.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.