Even if we stop producing and dumping plastic in the ocean, it will take years for it to break down and reach the gyres.
The oceans are agonizing under human human-made pollution.
Just like the wind is moving the oil at the surface, the wind and surface current also carry the plastics. Protei is primarily developed to capture oil, but it is not a big stretch to think of how Protei could collect plastic in the oceans, a highly repetitive and toxic task for human beings.
And now stop thinking plastic as a form of pollution. Start thinking of plastic as a resource, as energy, as money. Prof Moore thinks that there is no hope that we would ever invest the money to clean up the oceans - what if it was a profitable activity? What if we were collecting these plastics and turning it into construction materials, energy, more Protei to collect more plastic!
If you want to brainstorm on this topic about Protei customization, please do it on this topic page.