Can a teenager save the world’s oceans?
While diving in Greece at age 16, Dutch teenager Boyan Slat became frustrated when he came across more plastic bags than fish. As a result Slat created ‘The Ocean Cleanup’ which develops technologies to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. The Ocean Cleanup’s goal is to fuel the world’s fight against oceanic plastic pollution, by initiating the largest cleanup in history.
The now 19-year-old invented a device that he claims could clean up some 20 billion tonnes of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The idea is a series of floating booms and processing platforms designed to collect floating plastic rubbish but allow life like fish and plankton to pass through unharmed, while saving the waste materials to be recycled.
The engineering student believes that once operational, his device could dramatically reduce the amount of rubbish in the oceans in just five years time. As well as solving an environmental problem, he also believes his invention could make up to $500 million a year from recycling the waste collected.
On September of 2014, The Ocean Cleanup successfully completed the crowd funding campaign to start the Pilot Phase, raising about 2.1 million dollars (U.S) in the process. However, donations will continue to play a very important role for the project’s funding up to the end of the Pilot Phase. Donations can be made via the website.
©Photo: The Ocean Cleanup