“Why Can’t We Clean This Mess Up?”
18-year-old Boyan Slat combines environmentalism, entrepreneurism and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability. After diving in Greece and coming across more plastic bags than fish, he wondered; “why can’t we clean this up?”
Two Fascinating Videos Below: Ocean Cleanup Product Development and Boyan Slat’s Ted Talk
While still in secondary school, Boyan Slat decided to dedicate half of a school year to research to understand plastic pollution and the problems associated with cleaning it up. This ultimately led to his passive clean-up concept, which he presented at TEDxDelft 2012. Working to prove the feasibility of his concept, Slat currently leads a team of approximately 50 people dedicated to the development of his ocean cleaning device. Slat temporarily quit his Aerospace Engineering study in order to completely focus his efforts on The Ocean Cleanup.
The Ocean Cleanup Platform is designed to collect plastic trash that currently floats on or near the water’s surface. The one-mile wide array features two large booms on either side which use ocean currents to direct the plastic toward a central receptacle. The trash is then filtered into a large trash receptor on the back of the floating platform for recycling.
With solar panels and water-generated turbines below the ocean surface, the platform is completely self sustaining. The array will be installed near the Japanese island of Tsushima in 2016 as part of a two-year long trial. Should the trial prove successful the project will be gradually expanded. The ultimate objective is to deploy a 62-mile-long array to capture half of the trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge area of floating marine plastic and trash located between Hawaii and California.
source: Ted Talks, Wikipedia, Youtube, The Ocean Cleanup