Boyan Slat: One Man’s Mission to Clean Up the Ocean
In 2012, aged just 18 years old, Boyan Slat pitched his incredible, innovative designs and plan to clean up the ocean with minimum cost whilst maximizing efficiency. Fast forward six years and The Ocean Clean Up is on course to start cleaning up the Pacific Ocean this year.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a sub-tropical gyre between Hawaii and California) is their first priority. A vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, over twice the size of Texas (three times the size of France) and containing approximately 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. Over years of plastic pollution, ocean currents have floated plastic into this area at an alarming rate making it home to the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world.
Since passing a ‘feasibility test’ to work out if Boyan’s ideas would work, The Ocean Clean Up have gathered massive amounts of data about plastic pollution. This has been an arduous and time-consuming project involving a massive team of experts and two full scale expeditions into the Pacific Garbage Patch. One using a fleet of 30 boats dubbed the ‘Mega Expedition’ and one using an aircraft dubbed ‘The Aerial Expedition’. The first deployment of their clean up technology will be mid-2018 with aims to be fully deployed by 2020.
This vast project was made possible not only by the hard work, determination and ingenious design of it’s young founder but also 38,000 people from 160 countries donating to what became the most successful crowdfunding campaign in history. A truly inspiring example of how one young person’s innovation and dedication can change and unite the entire world.