It has been six years since teenager Boyan Slat began developing a system to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a trash-filled vortex in the Pacific Ocean that’s more than twice the size of Texas.

Yesterday the Ocean Cleanup ended Mission One and brought sixty cubic metre bags filled with plastic trash ranging from toothbrushes to fishing nets onshore in Vancouver.

The non-profit vessel has spent the past two months collecting garbage, using a U-shaped contraption that acts like an artificial coastline to collect debris.

The plastic trash will be transformed into sustainable products that will be sold to help fund the continuation of the cleanup operations. The organization expects to launch this premier product made from material collected in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in September 2020.

The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic. Dutch inventor Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup at the age of 18 in his hometown of Delft, the Netherlands.

The Ocean Cleanup’s team consists of more than 80 engineers, researchers, scientists and computational modelers working daily to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

“Welcoming the first catch of plastic on land is the moment we have been looking forward to for years. I believe we can use this trash to turn a problem into a solution by transforming this unique material into a beautiful product. As most people will never go to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, through these products, we aim to give everyone the opportunity to take part in the cleanup”, Slat remarked on the upcoming plans of The Ocean Cleanup.