An innovative way to clean plastic waste in the oceans.
Dutch company The Ocean Cleanup will use floating barriers which drift along the water’s surface collecting plastic. Sea life can safely pass beneath the barriers.
“Instead of going after the plastic we let the plastic come to us, saving time, energy and costs. By using the natural ocean currents to our advantage, we can let the ocean clean itself,” said Boyan Slat, CEO and founder of the Ocean Cleanup.
The system’s main target is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. That’s an area of 386,100 square miles of garbage in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.
Testing of the first system will begin on the U.S. west coast by the end of the year. The barriers will be shipped to the garbage patch in the first half of 2018, two years ahead of schedule.
Slat decided to dedicate himself to cleaning up the world’s oceans when he went scuba diving in Greece at the age of 16 and saw more plastic bags than fish.
The young entrepreneur’s system is making waves among America’s super-rich philanthropists. Last month, his foundation announced it had raised 21.7 million US Dollars in donations since last November, clearing the way for large-scale trials at sea.
He says he aims to have 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch cleaned up in the next 5 years.