Think of it as a pool noodle with a conscience

Outside Magazine  | January 2017 Issue  |  Full Article: The Crowdfunded Conservationist Who Wants to Save the World

Slat regards his critics the way a teenager greets parents who just don’t get it. “Even if we stopped producing plastics today, ocean-born microplastics will still increase twentyfold or more over the next few decades if we don’t do anything,” he told me. We were in the galley of the Estrella, a battered fishing boat hired for the day to ferry a scrum of journalists out to witness the 328-foot prototype’s mooring in the North Sea, 14 miles from the Dutch coast. It was dawn, and the faint silhouettes of wind turbines were visible on a stormy horizon. Slat apologized for the plastic cup that held my steaming coffee. “It’s everywhere,” he said, wringing his hands.

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