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The Ocean Cleanup
Transcript of The Ocean Cleanup
20-year old Boyan Slat invented a concept to passively clean the oceans of plastic. The concept would utilize the natural currents to let the oceans clean themselves, in what would become the largest cleanup in history.
In 2013 Boyan founded The Ocean Cleanup foundation, which now has over 100 volunteers including many scientists and engineers. Thanks to the support of more than 15 institutions, companies and many individual funders, The Ocean Cleanup has been able to perform a large amount of research, which leads us to the most exciting part of this journey...
After being ingested by fish, these persistent organic pollutants bio-accumulate in our food chain
A cleanup of our oceans has always been deemed impossible, costing billions of dollars and thousands of years.
Is one of the 5 areas known as ‘gyres’ where ocean currents converge, concentrating plastic pollution.
Every gyre contains up to millions of pieces of plastic
More than a million seabirds and 100.000 marine mammals die each year because of this plastic, either through ingestion or entanglement
Toxic chemicals are absorbed by the plastic, increasing the concentration a million times
In total an estimated 500.000.000 kg of plastic floats in our oceans
Why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you? Attaching an array of floating barriers and platforms to the sea bed enables us to concentrate the plastic before extracting it from the ocean —a collection process 100% driven by the natural winds and currents.
Instead of nets, we make use of solid floating barriers, making entanglement of wildlife impossible. Virtually all of the current flows underneath these booms, taking away all (neutrally buoyant) organisms, and preventing by-catch, while the lighter-than-water plastic collects in front of the floating barrier.
The scalable array of moorings and booms is designed for large-magnitude deployment, covering millions of square kilometers without moving a centimeter.
Thanks to its projected high capture and field efficiency, a single gyre can be covered in just 5-10 years (or longer, depending on the chosen deployment strategy).
Capturing plastics, not sea life
Well, Boyan sees it differently...
And apparently there is no feasible solution.
Why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you?
But an idea alone will not clean our oceans...
The recently concluded
has shown that it's not just a groundbreaking idea, but a very real possibility...
Millions of tons of plastic are polluting our oceans, killing
over 1,000,000 sea animals each year impacting our health and
costing billions in damages.
Our next goal is a large-scale and fully operational pilot in 3 to 4 years’ time
A series of up-scaled tests, oceanographic field research and in-depth engineering will eliminate uncertainties and optimize technical design
But we need
For as little as $6 we can clean 1kg of plastic
for supporting the largest cleanup in history
So how does it work?