ABC7News: The Ocean Cleanup prepares to fight plastic with plastic in Alameda, April 18, 2018
ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) --
Call it the world's biggest garbage dump: the swirling mess of plastic debris in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Now, there's an effort afoot to make it vanish, launching from the shores of San Francisco Bay.
"When I was 16 years old, I was SCUBA diving in Greece. I saw more plastic than fish, and I thought, 'Why can't we just clean this up?'" said Boyan Slat, founder of The Ocean Cleanup.
Slat is now 23, and that innocent question has since become his full-time job -- about 80 to 100 hours per week, he estimates.
His organization's bold aim to clean up the world's oceans is starting with perhaps the boldest undertaking of all: the spot between California and Hawaii known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: an area three times the size of France filled with swirling plastic debris, trapped by the ocean's currents.