THE OCEAN CLEANUP
Published on June 26, 2014
“Human history is basically a list of things that couldn’t be done, and then were done.”
19-year-old Boyan Slat combines environmentalism, entrepreneurism and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability.
While diving in Greece, he became frustrated when coming across more plastic bags than fish, and wondered: “why can’t we clean this up?”
While still in secondary school, he then decided to dedicate half a year of research to understand plastic pollution and the problems associated with cleaning it up. This ultimately led to the passive cleanup concept, which he presented at a TEDx conference in 2012.
To be able to show the concept he envisioned is technically feasible and financially viable, Boyan Slat paused his life as a first-year Aerospace Engineering student, to focus all his time to developing the idea.
On June 3rd 2014, The Ocean Cleanup presented the 530-page feasibility study report (authored by 70 people), which indicated the concept is indeed a feasible method to clean almost half the plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 10 years.
In 2012, The Ocean Cleanup Array was awarded Best Technical Design at the Delft University of Technology. Boyan Slat has been recognised as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Intel EYE50).