Last year, 19-year-old inventor Boyan Slat made waves by designing an “Ocean Cleanup Array” which he claimed could remove 72.5 million tons of plastic from the world’s oceans. Although his idea received criticism from some quarters, a year-long feasibility study concluded that the idea will work. Not just that—it could potentially remove half the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within a decade. The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for the young inventor; he’s given talks around the world and conducted tests in The Azores. We sat down with Boyan Slat to ask him about his inspiration, dealing with criticism and what the future holds for the Ocean Cleanup Array.