Boyan Slat, a teenage inventor, has reveals his plans to develop an ocean cleanup array that will be capable of removing over 7,250,000 tons of plastic from the oceans around the world.
The array is composed of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that can be sent to garbage patches around the globe. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would cover the radius of the garbage patch and act like a funnel. The angle of the booms traps the plastic in the platforms, where it can then be separated from plankton, filtered, and sent off for recycling.
Boyan did a project for school that assessed the amount of plastic in the ocean’s garbage patches. His final paper won several awards, including Best Technical Design of 2012 at the Delft University of Technology. He continued to develop his array in the summer of 2012 and revealed it at the TEDxDelft 2012.
Slat later founded The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit group focused on the development of his ideas. His ingenious invention could easily ave thousands of ocean species and remove pollutants from the environment. It could also save millions of dollars every year, through lost tourism, damage to marine vessels, and in clean-up costs.
The clean up process would take nearly five years to complete and it would greatly increase awareness about our growing pollution problem. On his website, Boyan states:
“One of the problems with preventive work is that there isn’t any imagery of these ‘garbage patches’, because the debris is dispersed over millions of square kilometres. By placing our arrays however, it will accumulate along the booms, making it suddenly possible to actually visualize the oceanic garbage patches. We need to stress the importance of recycling, and reducing our consumption of plastic packaging.”
To find out more about the project and to contribute, click here.
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