Will humankind have to thank a 20 year old for cleaning up and saving our oceans from plastic waste in the future? It certainly looks that way.
Boyan Slat is the 20-year old founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. Mr. Slat got fixated at the problem of plastic waste in the oceans. People know about the large floating fields of plastic waste and the dramatic impact on oceans and its inhabitants, but nobody was doing anything about it.
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Now Boyan Slat's cleanup mission is ready to go live in 2016 with a cleaner that is 2 kilometers in size. It will be becoming the longest floating structure ever deployed in the ocean (beating the current record of 1000 m held by the Tokyo Mega-Float). It will be operational for at least two years, catching plastic pollution before it reaches the shores of the proposed deployment location of Tsushima island. Tsushima island is evaluating whether the plastic can be used as an alternative energy source.
The scale of the plastic pollution problem, whereby in the case of Tsushima island, approximately one cubic meter of pollution per person is washed up each year, has led the Japanese the local government to seek innovative solutions to the problem.
The deployment will represents an important milestone in The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to remove plastic pollution from the world’s oceans. Within five years, after a series of deployments of increasing scale, The Ocean Cleanup plans to deploy a 100km-long system to clean up about half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, between Hawaii and California.
Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup: “Taking care of the world’s ocean garbage problem is one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces today. Not only will this first cleanup array contribute to cleaner waters and coasts but it simultaneously is an essential step towards our goal of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This deployment will enable us to study the system’s efficiency and durability over time."
Listen to an inspiring Boyan Slat explain his mission below. The clean-up is only one part of the solution. We need to stop trashing plastic in irresponsible ways.
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More details about The Ocean Cleanup can be found here.