Awhile ago, I saw a post on fUSION Anomalog about the invention of 20 year old Boyan Slat of the Netherlands.
He invented a system of floating arrays that skim garbage of the surface of the ocean, while preventing the aquatic plants & animals under the water from being disturbed.
Unfortunately people create a tremendous amount of waste & garbage that has built up in the environment. This is especially problematic in the oceans, where materials such as plastic are dumped and have accumulated to form the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
If implemented, this invention is projected to remove almost half of the plastic waste from that patch over 10 years. It would take thousands of years to clean using conventional methods.
His foundation recently raised enough funds to conduct a trial of the skimming technology in the North Sea.
I firmly believe that humans can use technology and intelligence to solve any problem, even ones that we create. Hopefully innovators like Boyan continue to create solutions to the most pressing problems facing our world.